Melissa Lee Highlights Parliament’s Diversity

Melissa Lee, the first and only Korean-born member of the New Zealand Parliament, is a go-to person for Korean nationals living in New Zealand, Kwon Mee-yoo writes for The Korea Times.

First elected in 2008 and now a fifth-term lawmaker, Lee has been fighting racism and promoting the rights of New Zealand’s diverse ethnic communities, including Korean-New Zealanders, for over a decade, while showcasing her expertise in media and communication as a former journalist and television producer, Kwon reports.

Lee became an award-winning documentary maker and television producer in New Zealand, but she also participated in various community activities, such as a Korean association, and volunteered as a Korean interpreter at hospitals and the police.

However, the importance of representation led her to run in the parliamentary election.

“[It is important to] make sure that there is a voice in Parliament,” Lee said. “As a journalist, you can highlight a problem, but you can’t actually fix it. Right? When you’re in politics, you can actually fix the problem.”

Lee was recently in Seoul attending the eighth Global Korean Politicians Forum.

Original article by Kwon Mee-yoo, The Korea Times, August 20, 2020.

Photo by Choi Won-suk.


Tags: Korea Times (The)  Melissa Lee  

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