Patrick Gower continues our series on Parliament's new MPs, based on their maiden speeches
When new National MP Sam Lotu-Iiga's family arrived in New Zealand
from Samoa, his father would walk from Ponsonby to Parnell to save the bus fare in order to have some money for lunch.
The family lived in a Mangere home with three bedrooms and a double
garage that sometimes had up to 16 people in it.
Mr Lotu-Iiga, 38, praised these family sacrifices and education in unlocking the opportunities that have taken him from a career in law, finance and commerce on to local body politics and now the national stage.
"The stories my father told of shifting from the warm climes of Apia to the snow and sleet of Bluff move me. The stories he told of having to walk from Ponsonby to Parnell to save the bus fare in order to have
some lunch humble me. My parents suffered and endured a great deal just so that we children could have better lives."
Mr Lotu-Iiga said his parents "sacrificed and saved" in order for him to
attend Auckland Grammar, and then Auckland University, where he attained a law degree and a masters in commerce. He later went on to get an MBA
from Cambridge University.
"Education allowed me to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures. Those cultures taught me that the best teachers in our world can and should be our parents. Our parents should encourage aspiration, and teach core values and an honourable way of life."
He has worked as a solicitor for Russell McVeagh, a financial analyst for Bankers Trust in London and as an executive consultant for Macquarie
Bank in Sydney.
Mr Lotu-Iiga lives in Onehunga with his wife Jules. In 2007, he won the
Maungakiekie ward of the Auckland City Council on the Citizens and
Ratepayers' ticket. He then stood for and won the parliamentary seat too, beating union figure Carol Beaumont for a seat that many thought would be safely Labour.
He spoke of the significance that Maungakiekie or One Tree Hill has for both Maori and Pakeha.
He also noted that with 149 different ethnic groups, one-third of its residents hailing from overseas, one-third speaking foreign languages and schools ranging from decile 1-9, "the Maungakiekie electorate is
at the heart of Auckland's diversity, with the iconic Maungakiekie as its jewel". The seat was also a pointer to the diverse influences sweeping the country.
Mr Lotu-Iiga said he believed in "the notion of public service", citing a Samoan proverb that meant: "the path to leadership is through service".
He is involved with I Have a Dream Trust, which helps low-income people
reach their goals, and Great Potentials, a social enterprise that works with children and their families.
He is a Christian, attending the Greenlane Christian Centre.
A rugby man, he once played hooker for New Zealand Barbarians.
Mr Lotu-Iiga holds the chiefly title of Peseta. But as a new MP, he stated he was proud to become one of John Key's "foot soldiers". Mr Lotu-Iiga won the formerly safe Labour Maungakiekie seat by 1942
votes. He had an assured place in Parliament anyway with list placing number of 35. He is the deputy chairman of the commerce select committee and a member of the finance and expenditure committee.
Labour, list MP
At 26 on the list, was a certainty to get in. Also stood in the North Shore electorate, losing to National's Wayne Mapp by 14,574 votes. Member of foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee. Labour's spokesman for disarmament and arms control, Auckland issues, and associate spokesman for foreign affairs and development assistance.
Was humanitarian and development organisation Oxfam's global advocacy and campaigns manager, based in Washington DC. He managed a team of lobbyists dedicated to influencing the policies of the World Bank, IMF, WTO and UN in favour of poor countries. Formerly a journalist at the now defunct Auckland Star and Sunday Star, and a union organiser, before starting his career at Oxfam as its NZ division's founding CEO.
Middle name "Stoner" - his mother's maiden name - with its colloquial meaning not common parlance when he was born in 1963.
In his own words:
"We have been far too shy of the [republic] debate. But as our nation rapidly changes its make-up, its ties to England will become even more strained and irrelevant. As I look around this House, the most diverse
in the history of this institution, the last thing I think of is the Queen on the other side of the world."
Act, list MP
Aged 50. No 5 on Act's list. Member of law and order, local government and environment, and privileges committees. Act's spokesman on law and
order, as well as a range of issues such as employment, Pacific affairs and energy.
A barrister practising in Albany, Auckland, as well as in Tonga where he lived from 1999 to 2003. A legal adviser to the Sensible Sentencing Trust. A deal between Act and the trust saw him deployed directly
into the high list spot. Came to the law later in life, having once been an oil industry "roughneck" (labourer) on rigs and pipelines around the world.
A political turnaround, once being Socialist Unity Party, anti-nuclear
protester and Labour Party activist. Is married to a Tongan and has young children.
In his own words:
"[I want] a society where, when she is older, my daughter can - as my sisters did - go for a walk on a hot summer night without fear of being raped or worse. A society where residents of a Gisborne state housing
block could go to the beach and leave their house, not only unlocked, but open, so as to benefit from the cooling breeze blowing through the open front and back doors. I know this is true because I was there.
That's the environment I grew up in."