Labour candidate denies intention to fake CV

Auckland, NZ – The Tongan Labour candidate for Manukau East, Jenny Salesa, has denied her cv is faked.

She made the comments after some Tongan Aucklanders questioned whether she was qualified to practice law in New Zealand.

Salesa, who graduated from Auckland University’s School of Law, has admitted that she does not have a current practicing certificate.

She said she was working with the New Zealand Law Society to obtain a practicing certificate as soon as possible.

Her cv says she has been a lawyer, health specialist, policy analyst and senior official for 20 years and was made a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in Auckland in 1996.

Salesa graduated from Auckland University’s School of Law with a BA/LLB.

She returned to New Zealand in 2012 after living in the United States for nearly a decade.

Salesa could be the first Tongan MP to enter NZ parliament. Manukau East is a Labour stronghold.

The New Zealand Labour Party claimed Salesa was a victim of a “politically motivated” campaign by Auckland Tongans and Pacific supporters of National and Conservative Parties.

An e-mail from Salesa to  Kaniva News implied she was unaware that the New Zealand law rules governing  the registration of solicitors and barristers had changed while she was in the United States.

The New Zealand Law Practitioner’s Act 1982 said: “Every person admitted by the Court or a Judge under this Act shall be admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Court; and no person shall be admitted as a barrister or solicitor only.”

The Law Practitioner’s Act 1982 was repealed with the introduction of the Lawyers and Conveyancers  Act 2006.

The Act says anyone who had been admitted as a barrister and solicitor, but did not hold a current practising certificate, could refer to themselves as an "enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court.”

The New Zealand Law Society says it is an offence against the Lawyers and Conveyance Act 2006 (“the LCA”) for anyone providing certain legal services to describe themselves as a “lawyer”, a “barrister”, or a “barrister and solicitor” without holding  a current practising certificate.

Salesa said she was told by the Law Society it would only take a week before she received her practising certificate. She would not be working as a legal counselor.

“It is all right to make correction to what went wrong and we are working with the Law Society to fulfill their requirement,” she said.

“The society asked me to help them with my educational background. This includes finding where I was qualified with my law degree, and whether I passed my professional legal studies and when and where I received my wig.

“I fully accept the request for me by the Law Society to correct any information that may have misled anybody regarding my legal status and I think many have understood I did not intend to misinform anyone.”

Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, said: “I would say that the political environment we are in leading up to the election suggests strongly that these allegations are politically motivated and perhaps are driven by those who aligned with National and the Conservatives.”

“It’s a real shame that those political parties are involving some members of the Tongan community or Pacific candidates in petty mudslinging against a daughter of Tonga.”

An e-mail by Auckland barrister Nalesoni Tupou to Sio that was passed on to Kaniva News says: “Can I draw your attention to Sections 6, 21. 22 of the Lawyers and Conveyancing Act?”

“This is a worry for Jennifer because it appears that she might breach the above mentioned sections of the Act. She has used words to the effect that she is a "lawyer" on a number of her public documents including her advertisement for the Mt Wellington Trust election that she is a "lawyer". Very worrying….It is my own personal private view”

Salesa is a Principal Advisor Pacific for the Tertiary Education Commission.

Charlotte Walker, the Senior Solicitor Regulatory at the New Zealand Law Society in response to an email from Kaniva News  said the Law Society is subject to the provisions of the Privacy Acts 1993 and therefore unable to release any personal information regarding this matter.

The main points

  • The Tongan Labour candidate for Manukau East, Jenny Salesa, has denied her cv is faked.
  • She made the comments after some Tongan Aucklanders questioned whether she was qualified to practice law in New Zealand.
  • But Salesa, who graduated from Auckland University’s School of Law, has admitted that she does not have a current practicing certificate.
  • She said she was working with the New Zealand Law society to get one as soon as possible.

For more information

Jenny Salesa’s cv

Jenny Salesa’s Facebook page


News in Tongan

Pehe e he kanititeiti Tonga ‘a e Leipa na’e ‘ikai ha taumu’a ke loi ene CV.

Na’e pehe ‘a Jenny Salesa ko e kanititeiti Leipa ia ‘oku tu’u ke fakafofonga ma’a Manukau East na’e ‘ikai ha fakakaukau ke loi ‘ene CV pe tohi ‘oku ne fakamatala ai ‘a ‘ene ako na’e fai pehe ki he hisitolia ‘ene ngaue.

Na’e fai ‘ene lau ko ‘eni hili ia hano fehu’ia ‘e ha ni’ihi Tonga ‘i ‘Aokalani pe kuo fakangofua ko a ia ke ngaue ko ha loea ‘i Nu’u Sila ni.

Kuo fakamahino ‘e Salesa ‘a ia na’e ma’u mata’itohi foki ia mei he ‘apiako lao ‘a e ‘univesiti ‘o ‘Aokalani ‘oku ‘ikai ha’ane setifikeiti ke ngaue fakaloea.

Na’a ne pehe ‘oku ne lolotonga ngaue mo e Sosaieti Lao ‘a Nu’u Sila ke ma’u ‘ene setifikeiti ngaue fakaloea he vave taha ‘e ala lava. ‘Oku asi ‘i he’ene CV ko e loea ia, taukei ne ako makehe ki he mo’ui, ko e tokotaha ngaue ki hono ‘analaiso ‘o e ngaahi palani ngaue, ‘ofisiale ma’olunga ‘i he ta’u ‘e 20 pea na’e fakahoko ia ko e peulisitoa mo e solisitoa ‘o e Faakamaau’anga Lahi ‘a ‘Aokalani ‘i he 1996.

Na’e fakanofo mata’itohi ‘a Salesa mei he ‘apiako lao ‘a e ‘Univesiti ‘Aokalani mo hano mata’itohi BA LLB.

Na'e hiki atu foki 'a Salesa ia ki 'Amelika 'o nofo ai mei he 2001 ki he 2011 pea ne toki foki he 2012 ki Nu'u Sila ni.

Ko  Salesa ‘a e Tonga ‘oku ne lolotonga puke ‘a e  fangamalie lahi ‘aupito ke hu ki he Fale Alea Nu’u Sila ‘i he teu fili ko ‘eni ‘i Sepitema. Ko e vahenga ko e ‘oku ne kanititeiti mei ai ko e ‘ananga ia ‘o e kau poupou ki he Leipa.

Kuo pehe ‘e he Paati Leipa ‘a Nu’u Sila kuo hoko ‘a Salesa ko e vikitima ia o ha fo’i kemipeini ‘a e kainga Tonga ‘i ‘Aokalani pe ko e kainga Pasifiki poupou ki he Paati Nesinolo mo e Konisevativi ‘oku taumu’a fakapolitikale.

 ‘I ha ‘imeili ‘a Salesa ki he Ongoongo ‘a e Kaniva ‘oku ha mei ai ngali na’e ‘ikai ke ne fakatokanga’i kuo liliu ‘a e lao ‘a Nu’u Sila ki hono lesisita ‘o e kau peulisitoa mo e kau solisitoa lolotonga ‘ene i ‘Amelika.

Ko e Lao ‘a Nu’u Sila ‘oku ui ko e  Law Practitioner’s Act 1982 ‘oku ‘asi ai ‘a e konga ko eni: Ko e taha kotoa  ‘e fakanofo ‘e ha fakamaau’anga pe fakamaau ‘i he lao ko ‘eni ‘e fakanofo ia ko e peulisitoa mo e solisitoa ‘o e fakamaau’anga, pea ‘e ‘ikai ke fakanofo ko ha peulisitoa pe solisitoa ‘ata’ata pe. Na’e fakakakato ‘eni ia ‘e Salesa pea ne toki hiki ki ‘Amelika.

Na’e hu mai leva ‘i he 2006 ‘a e toe liliu ‘a Nu’u Sila ki he anga hono lesisita ‘o e kau peulisitoa pehe ki he solisitoa, taimi ‘eni ‘oku kei ‘i ‘Amelika ai ‘a Salesa ia.  Na’e ui ‘a e lao ko ia ko e Conveyancers Act 2006.  Na’e toe hanga ‘e he lao ko ia ‘o fakalao’i ‘a hono ngaueaki ‘a e fo’i lea ko e loea.

Ko e konga leva ‘eni ‘oku ‘asi ‘i he lao ko ia: ko ha taha ‘e fakanofo ko ha peulisitoa mo solisitoa, ka ‘oku ‘ikai ke ne ma’u ha setifikeiti ke ngaue fakalao, ‘e lava ke ui pe ia ko e peulisitoa mo solisitoa kuo fakahu ki he fakamaau’anga ma’olunga.

 ‘I he lao ai pe ko ‘eni Conveyancers Act 2006,’oku tu’utu’uni ‘e he Sosaieti Lao ‘a Nu’u Sila ‘e hoko ia ko ha hia ‘o ka ‘i ai ha taha te ne pe  ‘oku ne fai ha ngaahi ngaue fakalao ‘o ne tala ko e loea ia, pe peulisitoa pe peulisitoa mo solisitoa ka ‘oku ‘ikai ke ne ma’u ha setifikeiti ke ngaue fakalao.

Kuo pehe ‘e Salesa kuo fakaha ange mei he Sosaieti Lao ‘e uike si’i pe mei heni kuo ma’u ‘e ne setifikeiti ke ngaue fakalao mo ‘ata ke ui ia ko ha loea.

Na’e ‘ikai tali ‘e he sosaieti lao ‘a e kole ‘a e Kaniva o hufanga atu i he lao Information Act a Nu’u Sila 1982 ‘a ia ‘oku fa’a fakamalumalu ai e kau faiongoongo ka nau kole ke 'omai ‘a e ngaahi fakamatala ‘oku tauhi kau ki ha taha. Pehe ‘e he Sosaieti Lao ‘oku nau tu'u ‘ata kinautolu mei he lao ko ia ka 'oku nau fakamalumalu kinautolu 'i he Lao ki he Ngaahi Fakamatala Fakaetaautaha 1993 pea ikai ai ke nau tuku mai ha fakamatala kau ki he 'isiu ko 'eni.

‘I ha fakamatala hangatonu ‘a Salesa ki he Ongoongo ‘a e Kaniva ‘i he lea faka-Tonga na’a ne pehe ai:

“  ‘Oku lolotonga fai ‘a e ngāue fakavavevave ke fakakakato e ngaahi fiema’u ‘a e Sosaieti Lao ‘o Nu’usila ‘o fekau’aki mo hono ngaue ‘aki e fo’i kupu’i lea koia ko e loea pea kuo fai mo e talanoa ki he  laiseni ngāue fakaloea neongo ‘oku ‘osi mahino pe ‘e ‘ikai ke fiema’u keu fai ha ngāue fakafofonga lao he kaha’u na”,  ko e tali ia ‘a Jenny Latu Salesa ki hono ‘eke’i ‘e he ni’ihi pe ‘oku totonu ke ui ia ko e loea.

“ Lolotonga ‘a ‘eku mavahe atu mei Nu’usilá ni he 2001 ne fakahū mai ai ‘a e tu’utu’uni fo’ou he 2006 kuo pau ke lēsisita pe laiseni mei he Sosaieti Lao ‘o Nu’usilá ‘a e tokotaha fakafofonga lao kotoa pē kae toki lava ke ui ia ko e loea he fonuá ni”, ko Jenny ia.

“ Na’e totonu ke fuofua fakahoko e kole ha lēsisita pe laiseni ‘a ia ‘oku fakafo’ou fakata’u pea ko e ma’u pe hoto mata’itohi lao, lava moe sivi he koosi ‘oku ui ko e professional legal studies pea hilifaki mo hato lou’ulu pea ‘oku ngofua leva ke fakahu ha’ate kole laiseni fakafofonga lao. ‘Oku hā mai mei he ‘eku faka’eke’eké ‘e lau uike si’i pe pea ma’u ‘a e lēsisitá ni.

Ko ‘ene lave eni ki he lao koia ko e Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006 ‘o tu’utu’uni ai kuo pau ke ma’u laiseni ‘a e fakafofonga lao kotoa pē mei he NZ Law Society kimu’a pea toki ngofua ke ne fai ha ngāue fakafofonga lao.

Na’a ne pehē foki ‘oku tonu ‘a e fakatonutonu ‘o ha fehālaaki ‘oku hoko pea kuo ‘osi fai ‘a e femahino’aki mo e NZ Law Society ki he ngaahi ngaue kuo pau ke fai ke tali angi ki he ngaahi tu’utu’uni ‘a e Sosaieti.  

“ ‘Oku kau heni ‘a e hoko atu ‘enau kumi hoku lekooti pe na’e hilifaki hoku mata’itohi lao, pe na’e lava eku sivi professional legal studies pea moe ‘aho na’e hilifaki ai hoku lou’ulu mo e kolo ne hilifaki ai hoku lou ‘ulu pea ne kole mai e Sosaieti keu tokoni ange ke lava ‘o fakakakato eni he ‘oku ‘ikai ke nau ma’u kotoa ia pea ‘oku lolotonga fai e ngaue ke fakakakato ‘enau fiema’u.

“ Kuo u tali lelei ‘enau fokotu’u mai keu fakatonutonu ha ngaahi fakamatala ‘e ala tupu ai ha ngaahi ma’u hala fekau’aki mo hoku tu’unga ngāue fakalao pea ‘oku ou tui ‘oku ‘osi mahino ki he tokolahi ‘oku ‘ikai ha’aku feinga lohiaki’i ha taha pea ‘oku ‘ikai teu ngāue au ki ha kautaha lao he ‘oku ou ngaue au he Potungaue ’a e Pule’anga.

Na’e ako a Jenny he Univesiti ‘o Aokalani ‘o ma’u ai ‘a hono faka’ilonga lao, BA/LL.B ‘i he ta’u 1996 pea hili ‘a ‘ene lava he sivi makehe ‘oku ui ko e Professional Legal Studies na’e tali ia ke ne hoko ko e memipa kautaha ‘a e kau loea (admitted to the bar) ‘i he Auckland District High Court ke ne hoko ko e fakafofonga lao. 

Na’a ne folau atu he 2001 ki ‘Amelika ‘o ngāue ai he ngaahi va’a ngāue kehekehe ‘a e pule’angá mo e ngāue kehe pe (private sector) pea ne toki foki mai mo hono fāmili he ta’u 2011.   

Ko hono lakanga he taimí ni ko e Principal Advisor Pacific  ‘i he va’a ngāue ‘a e pule’anga Nu’usilá ‘oku ui ko e Tertiary Education Commission.

Taimi tatau foki kuo hu mai a e Paati Leipa ‘o pehe ‘e he’enau  matapule faifatongia ki he Pasifiki, Sua Williams Sio ko e  ‘atakai fakapolitikale ‘oku nau ‘i ai ‘i he teu ko ‘eni ‘o e fili oku ne fokotu’u malohi mai kiate ia ko e ngaahi mahamahalo ko ‘eni ‘oku fai kia Salesa 'oku taumu’a fakapolitikale pea mahalo ko e fai ‘eni ‘e he ni’ihi poupou ki he Nesinolo mo e Konisevativi.

Na’a ne pehe foki ko e me’a fakama ia ko hono meangaue’aki ‘e he ngaahi paati fakapolitikale ‘a e ni’ihi memipa ‘i he komiuniti Tonga pe kau kanititeiti Pasifiki ke ‘ai pe ha ki’i me’a ke tukutamate’i  ai leva ha ‘ofefine ‘o Tonga.

Na’e ‘i ai ha ‘imeili ‘a e taha ‘o e kau peulisitoa Tonga ‘i ‘Aokalani, Nalesoni Tupou ne ‘ave kia Sio pea na’e paasi mai ki he Kaniva pea na’e ‘asi ai ‘ene lave ko ‘eni kia Sio: ‘E lava ke ke vakai ange ki he Sekisoni 6, 21,22 ‘o e Lao ki he Kau Loea mo e Kau Fa’u fakamatala fakalao 2006. ‘Oku fakatupuhoha’a kau kia Jenny koe’uhi oku ha  ngali ‘oku ne maumau’i ‘a e lao ‘oku ‘asi ‘i ‘olunga. ‘Oku ne ngaue ‘aki ‘a e ngaahi lea ke tala ko e loea ia ‘i ha ngaahi fakamatala kuo tufaki ki he papiliki kau ai ‘a ‘ene tu’uaki ki he Mt Wellington Trust election ‘a ia na’a ne pehe ko e loea ia. ‘Oku fakatupu hoha’a ‘aupito…Ko ‘eku vakai fakaeau pe ia ‘a’aku.

‘Oku lolotonga ngaue ‘a Salesa ‘i he Tertiary Education Commission ko e tokotaha Pule Fale’i Pasifiki.

Na'e fetu'utaki 'a e Kaniva ki he 'Ofisi 'o e Sosaieti Lao 'a Nu'u Sila fekau'aki mo Salesa 'o hufanga atu 'i he Lao ki he ngaahi fakamatala 1982, a ia 'oku ne tu'utu'uni ke tuku ange mai ha fakamatala 'e kole 'e taha,  ka ne pehe 'e Charlotte Walker ko e Senior Solicitor Regulatory he 'ofisi 'oku fakamalumalu 'a e Sosaieti ia 'i he Lao ki he Ngaahi Me'a Fakapulipuli Taautaha 1993 pea 'e 'ikai lava ai ke nau 'omi ki he Kaniva ha fakamatala kau ki he me'a ni. 

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