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New Zealand Labour Party
New Zealand Politician
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| Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University|Luamanuvao Winnie Laban Wikipedia
Luamanuvao Winifred "Winnie" Alexandra Laban QSO (born 1955), a former New Zealand politician, served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mana electorate, representing the Labour Party. She became the Labour Party's spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs and for Interfaith Dialogue.
Laban was born in Wellington to Samoan parents, and was educated at Erskine College, and Wellington Girls' College from 1969 to 1971. Before entering politics she was a family therapist and community development worker, focusing particularly on the Pacific Island community of New Zealand.
Laban graduated with a degree in Social Work from the Victoria University of Wellington and later in Development Studies from Massey University. In 1992 she was bestowed the Samoan matai chiefly title Luamanuvao from the village of Vaiala, Vaimauga, in recognition of her work.
Laban was first elected to Parliament in the 1999 election as a list MP, becoming New Zealand's first Pacific Island woman MP. In the 2002 election she successfully contested the Mana electorate, formerly held by Labour MP Graham Kelly. In 2005 she was re-elected by a majority of 6,734 votes She was Minister of Pacific Island Affairs (5 November 2007 – 19 November 2008). Labour was defeated in the 2008 election, depriving Laban of her ministerial role, but Laban retained her electorate seat and most of her majority.
In December 2009 her Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Bill, which would grant greater rights to the families of those seeking or undergoing treatment, was drawn from the member's ballot. The bill was defeated at its first reading.
On 10 August 2010 Laban announced she would resign from Parliament to take up a position as an Assistant Vice-Chancellor at Victoria University of Wellington, leading to a by-election in the Mana electorate. She ceased being a member of parliament on 15 October 2010.
In the 2011 New Year Honours Laban was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services as a Member of Parliament.