William Sio


Aupito Tofae Su'a William Sio (born 1960)[2] is a politician who became a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives on 1 April 2008[3] for the Labour Party as a list MP. Since the November 2008 election, he has represented the Māngere electorate.

Aupito William Sio
Hon Aupito William Sio.jpg
Sio in 2020
10th Minister for Courts
Assumed office
6 November 2020
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byAndrew Little
13th Minister for Pacific Peoples
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byAlfred Ngaro
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Māngere
Assumed office
8 November 2008
Preceded byTaito Phillip Field
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Labour party list
In office
31 March 2008 – 8 November 2008
Preceded byDianne Yates[n 1]
Personal details
Born1960 (age 61–62)
NationalitySamoa, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Alma materBrigham Young University
Carrington Polytechnic Institute[1]


Sio is a Samoan who was born in Samoa and came to New Zealand in 1969.[1] He has the matai (chieftain title) of Aupito from the Matatufu village of the Lotofaga district on the island of Upolu.[4] He belongs to the extended family called Aiga Sa Aupito, which he now heads, as his father, Aupito Pupu Sio, bestowed the title in a 'fa'aui le ula' from father to son.[5] Sio is a Mormon[6] and has served as one of their bishops.[citation needed] He is married with a family of adult and young children.[1]

While growing up in New Zealand during the 1970s, Sio and his family experienced a police dawn raid, which disproportionately targeted members of the Pasifika communities. Sio recalled that he was personally traumatised by the raid and that his father, who had recently bought the house, was helpless.[7][8]

Local politicsEdit

Sio served as a Manukau City Councillor, representing the Ōtara ward from 2001. Sir Barry Curtis, the Mayor of Manukau City, selected Sio as chair of the planning committee in November 2004. In October 2007, the newly elected Mayor of Manukau City, Len Brown, appointed Sio deputy mayor, making him the first Pacific Islander to hold the position in Manukau City.[4]

National politicsEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008 48th List 47 Labour
2008–2011 49th Māngere 24 Labour
2011–2014 50th Māngere 17 Labour
2014–2017 51st Māngere 14 Labour
2017–2020 52nd Māngere 16 Labour
2020–present 53rd Māngere 20 Labour

Labour candidate, 2005–2008Edit

In the 2005 parliamentary election Sio was ranked 47th on the Labour party list and failed to be elected by two places.[9] However Labour Party list MP Dianne Yates left the Parliament on 29 March 2008,[10] and Sio was declared elected in her place (the person above him on the list, Louisa Wall, had already been declared elected to replace Ann Hartley).[11][12]

Prior to entering Parliament, Sio was a representative on Labour's national council as Pacific Islands Vice-President.[13]

In opposition, 2008–2017Edit

In the 2008 general election Sio won the Māngere electorate, defeating the incumbent independent (and former Labour) MP Taito Phillip Field by 7,126 votes.[14] In the 2011 and 2014 elections, Sio's majority was approximately 15,000 votes.[15][16]

In 2013, Sio voted against the Marriage Amendment Bill, which aimed to permit same sex marriage in New Zealand, with fellow Labour MPs Rino Tirikatene, Ross Robertson and Damien O'Connor, alongside New Zealand First, Brendan Horan (former New Zealand First MP), and 32 National MPs.[17] The Bill passed, becoming law.

Sio with Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern in August 2017

In government, 2017–presentEdit

Sio was re-elected during the 2017 general election by a margin of 14,597 votes, defeating National Party candidate Agnes Loheni.[18] Following the formation of Labour-led coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens, Sio was appointed as a Minister outside Cabinet by the Labour Party caucus.[19] On 26 October 2017, Sio was appointed Minister for Pacific Peoples, Associate Minister for Courts, and Associate Minister of Justice.[20]

During the 2020 general election, Sio was re-elected in Māngere by a margin of 19,396 votes, defeating National's candidate Loheni.[21]

In early November, Sio became Minister for Courts, while retaining his Pacific Peoples ministerial portfolio. He also retained his associate justice portfolio while picking up the associate foreign affairs, education (Pacific Peoples), and health (Pacific Peoples) portfolios.[22]

After Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that the New Zealand Government would apologise for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s and early 1980s, Sio gave an emotional testimony of his family's experiences with a dawn raid, stating that the apology restored mana for the victims of these raids.[7][8]

Political viewsEdit

Sio's stance against the Marriage Amendment Act, which allowed same-sex couple to marry, was not popular among his Labour colleagues. He justified his stance based the beliefs of many Pacific Islanders whom he represents.[23]


  1. ^ Normally, list MPs do not have individual predecessors or successors, but Yates resigned during a sitting parliament and therefore was succeeded by Sio.


  1. ^ a b c "Su'a William Sio". New Zealand Parliament. 11 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Roll of members of the New Zealand House of Representatives, 1854 onwards" (PDF). New Zealand Parliament. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  3. ^ New Zealand Parliament (1 April 2008). "Members Sworn". TheyWorkForYou.co.nz. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Su'a William Sio". New Zealand Labour Party. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  5. ^ Fernandes, Kymberlee (23 November 2016). "Su'a William Sio: A man of many titles". The Manukau Courier.
  6. ^ "Latter-day Saint Member of Parliament Speaks to Interfaith Group" (Press release). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b Whyte, Anna (14 June 2021). "Government Minister Aupito William Sio in tears as he recalls family being subjected to dawn raid". 1 News. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  8. ^ a b Cooke, Henry; Basagre, Bernadette (14 June 2021). "Government to formally apologise for race-based dawn raids". Stuff. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  10. ^ New Zealand Parliament (1 April 2008). "Resignations: Dianne Yates, NZ Labour". TheyWorkForYou.co.nz. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Labour MPs make way for newcomers". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  12. ^ New Zealand Parliament (1 April 2008). "List Member Vacancy". TheyWorkForYou.co.nz. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  13. ^ "New Zealand Council Members". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  14. ^ "Official Count Results – Māngere". Electoral Commission. 22 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Official Count Results – Māngere". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Official Count Results – Māngere". Electoral Commission. 4 October 2014. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  17. ^ ""Gay marriage: How MPs voted"". The New Zealand Herald. 18 April 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Māngere - Official Result". Electoral Commission. 17 January 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 October 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Māngere - Official Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 11 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Ministerial List for Announcement on Monday" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2 November 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  23. ^ Weekes, John (28 October 2012). "MPs attend protest against gay marriage". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 5 October 2014.

External linksEdit

  • Su'a William Sio's official website
  • New Zealand Parliament profile
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Māngere
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Pacific Peoples
Preceded by Minister for Courts