Born in Tianjin, China, Lawrence grew up in East Auckland where he attended school. He then went on to the University of Auckland and received his doctorate in Ancient History specialising in Egyptology in 2017. During his study, he also spent some time excavating in Egypt and researching in continental Europe.

A passionate advocate for education and students, Lawrence has worked in the tertiary education sector for more than a decade. He taught at the University of Auckland before going on to focus on international education. He has worked closely with international students over the years to ensure that they are fully equipped for their educational journey in Aotearoa. Lawrence initiated a series of workshops at his school on Te Tiriti, sustainability, rainbow, and disability issues to encourage new international students to engage with some of these topics. He also worked with the University of Auckland on the Junior Arts Programme and ran community-based programmes on Egyptology.

Lawrence joined the Green Party in 2017 and became increasingly active in 2018. From 2020 to 2023, Lawrence was the Green Party’s Policy Co-convenor (the first Asian member of Kaunihera, the Green Party’s governing body) and led the development and updates of Party policies alongside the female Policy Co-convenor and Policy Hub. In 2023, he was elected as the Party Co-convenor, a role he stepped down from when he was sworn into Parliament. He is a strong believer of the Green Party’s charter and has worked tirelessly within the Party to uphold the charter principles.

In 2023, Lawrence ran as the candidate in Epsom, one of the most diverse communities in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. As the Green Party’s first Chinese MP, Lawrence hopes to create bridges across various tauiwi communities and bring together the collective wisdom of these communities to find solutions to the bigger challenges facing Aotearoa.

“Like many recent migrants, we moved to Aotearoa to have better lives for our families and better access to a clean and healthy environment. By fighting for climate and social justice, we are also fighting for migrant justice.”

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