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.