The Ministry is accountable to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and to the Minister for Sport and Recreation in relation to Crown-funded sports agencies.
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was born in the city of Hamilton, New Zealand, and grew up rurally. She attended high school before graduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations.
Post-university, she worked as an advisor in the office of then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, in London for the Government Cabinet Office and as an Assistant Director in the Department for Business and Enterprise, and on a review of Policing in England and Wales.
The Prime Minister joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18 and entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008. Over her nine years as a representative she has been a strong advocate for children, women, and the right of every New Zealander to have meaningful work.
She became the MP for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017. As well as Prime Minister, she holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, an issue particularly close to her heart.
Hon Grant Roberston, Minister for Sport and Recreation; Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
Hon Grant Robertson was born in Palmerston North and lived in Hastings before his family settled in Dunedin. Grant’s belief in social justice and a desire to see every New Zealander able to achieve their potential led him to politics, and he has been the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since 2008.
Grant studied politics at Otago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 1995. His involvement in the campaign against user-pays education led him to become President of the Otago University Students Association, and later Vice President and then Co-President of the New Zealand University Students Association.
After leaving university, Grant joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and was also posted to the United Nations in New York. On his return to New Zealand he became an advisor to then-Minister of Environment Marian Hobbs, then to Prime Minister Helen Clark.
In Opposition, Grant was Finance Spokesperson, and has previously held spokesperson roles for Labour in Employment, Skills & Training, Economic Development, Tertiary Education, State Services, Health, and Arts, Culture & Heritage.
Hon Carmel Sepuloni, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
MP for Kelston Carmel Sepuloni is of Samoan, Tongan and NZ European decent. She was born and raised in Waitara but has lived in Auckland since 1996.
Outside of politics Carmel has worked broadly across the health and education sectors, working as a Literacy Educator with youth in West Auckland, teaching in Samoa, managing equity programmes at the University of Auckland, managing the Pacific non-regulated Pacific health research project and acting as CEO of New Zealand’s only National Pacific health provider, Vaka Tautua.
Carmel has always been committed to improving social, health and educational outcomes for all New Zealanders but has especially focused during her career on low socio-economic groups, Māori, Pacific, disabled people and sole parents. During her political career Carmel has brought to the fore the slashing of the training incentive allowance, made public the impact of cuts to ACC funding for survivors of sexual violence, campaigned for better legislation around social workers and fought for the right to privacy for social service users.
As the Minister for Social Development and Disability issues Carmel is looking forward to building a fairer welfare system that treats New Zealanders with the respect, upholds their dignity and supports them and their families to realise their potential.
Hon Clare Curran, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
In November 2008 Clare was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin South. She is the second woman Labour MP in Dunedin and the first for the seat of Dunedin South. Prior to Hon Clare Curran, there have been no female Cabinet Ministers from the South Dunedin or North Dunedin Electorates.
Clare lived in Australia for 14 years working predominantly with unions and progressive organisations. Being a journalist she is a strong supporter of commercial-free, independent, publicly available media. She believes in strong local representation and campaigns for more openness and transparency in government. Clare ran her own communications business specialising on campaigns for environment and social justice issues in New Zealand and Australia as well as promoting Dunedin-based issues.
In October 2017 with the formation of the 52nd Parliament, Clare was appointed Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Minister for Government Digital Services, Associate Minister for ACC and Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government).
Updated on 8th November 2017