Melissa entered Parliament as a National list MP following National’s victory in the 2008 election. Her election made her the first Korean woman to hold office outside of Korea in a National Assembly, 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.
During her time in Parliament Melissa has served in a number of Parliamentary roles including as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, Chair of the Social Services and Commerce Select Committees and sitting on the Health and Education Committees.
Since the start of the 53rd Parliament Melissa Lee has served on the Economic Development, Innovation and Science Committee, is the National Spokesperson for Broadcasting & Media, the Digital Economy & Communications and Ethnic Communities.
Melissa also Co-Chairs the Parliamentary Friendship Groups for North & Central Asia and South & South East Asia as an important part of the New Zealand Parliament’s international engagement with other nations.
Her vision is for a country that is safe, secure, and prosperous.
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