Melissa Lee List MP based in Mt Albert
Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities
Hello and welcome to my website!
As New Zealand’s first Korean born MP, I’m very proud to be part of this National-led Government.
As a country made up of many different ethnicities, New Zealand is strengthened by its diverse heritage and rich culture. I’m honoured to represent the Korean community which is the third largest Asian population in New Zealand. The Korean settlement in New Zealand is still young and we are very proud to be Kiwis (often called KOWI - Korean Kiwi). I really appreciate the support and encouragement I get from the “KOWI” community.
Moving from Korea at the age of 10, living in different countries and experiencing a variety of cultures before settling in New Zealand in 1988 has shaped who I am.
The birth of my son in 1998 significantly shaped my goals for the future of this country. A very proud "100% Kiwi" boy is my beacon, guiding me and confirming my resolve to work hard for all Kiwis regardless of their heritage or background.
I’m ambitious for him and his friends. National is determined to ensure our young people have the opportunities they need to deliver on the potential and ambition we see in the young people we meet throughout the country.
We want to see our young people have the skills and experience they need to succeed, to acquire productive jobs, and good living standards for them and their families, here in New Zealand. After all, it’s our young people who, more than any other group, will determine the future shape and prosperity of New Zealand.
My office, based in Mt Albert, is open during the week. If you require any assistance we will be happy and ready to provide advice and support.
Melissa entered Parliament as a National list MP following National’s victory in the 2008 election. Her election made her the first Korean women to hold office outside of Korea, and New Zealand’s first Korean MP.
Born in Korea, and growing up in Malaysia, Melissa moved to New Zealand as a young adult in 1988. Melissa’s background has ensured her place as a strong advocate for New Zealand's diverse ethnic communities within the National Government.
Melissa’s parliamentary career follows more than 20 years’ experience in New Zealand journalism in both print and television. She also enjoyed fifteen years as the presenter and producer on TVNZ’s Asia Dynamic and Asia Down Under with 600 episodes to her credit.
Melissa holds an MA with first class Honours in Communication Studies, and has held positions as a Vice President of the Korean Society, Vice-President of the Korean Womens’ Association, Board member of the Asia-Pacific Producers’ Network, advisor to the National Unification Council of Korea, and an Asian advisor to the Auckland Police.
Melissa is passionate about creating a safer New Zealand, and has been an advocate of better policing and tougher sentencing for serious crimes in New Zealand.
Her vision is for a country that is safe, secure, and prosperous.