Filipino’s election in NZ parliament hailed

A San Juan City councilor has filed a resolution commending Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino New Zealander member of the Parliament.

Councilor Jannah A. Ejercito filed Resolution 79, series of 2020 that seeks to congratulate and commend lawyer Paulo Reyes Garcia, a San Juaneño, for being elected as the first Filipino member of the Parliament of New Zealand.


“It is only but proper for the city government of San Juan to acknowledge, honor, and commend the sterling performances and achievements of one of its original sons who has brought fame and honor not only for his hometown but to his country as well,” said Ejercito, niece of former president Joseph Estrada.

“His person is a representative and reflective of us Filipinos in general, and as San Juaneños in particular,” she added.

Garcia was born and raised in San Juan on 18 June 1965 and took up primary and secondary education at the 90-year-old St. John’s Academy school in the city becoming a member of Batch 1982 and graduated from the University of the Philippines Law School.

While practicing law in the Philippines, he focused in commercial law for 10 years and then he migrated to New Zealand and became a community and church leader.

Garcia took up Certificate of Proficiency studies at the University of Auckland and the Academy of American and International Law in Dallas, Texas, USA. He later practiced immigration law with a focus on investor migration.

He was also appointed Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Auckland in 2012, served until 2017, and was involved in establishing the New Zealand Philippines Business Council.

Garcia entered Parliament in 2019 upon the resignation of National MP Tutehounuku Korako and was declared elected by the Electoral Commission on 16 May 2019 and became New Zealand’s first Member of Parliament (MP) of Filipino descent.

He is a member of the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade.