MP vis­its Huntly Col­lege to inspire stu­dents

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Huntly Col­lege stu­dents were given the in­side word on the life of Na­tional MP Paula Ben­nett with a per­sonal visit last week.

The Min­is­ter of So­cial Hous­ing ad­dressed the se­nior stu­dents at the school on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Ben­nett shared some of her life story in aid of in­spir­ing them.

‘‘I just love hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to [talk visit schools] par­tic­u­larly to talk to the se­nior stu­dents.’’

She hoped the story of be­ing a solo mother and be­ing the un­der­dog would help them in their own jour­ney, es­pe­cially when the teenagers en­coun­tered ’’con­fus­ing and hard times’’.

‘‘Ev­ery­one was look­ing at ev­ery­one else, the solo mum from Taupo wasn’t that in­ter­est­ing.’’

Be­fore be­com­ing in­volved in Gov­ern­ment, she was in­volved in HR re­cruit­ment and told the stu­dents she had it all and an op­por­tu­nity ad­vance in her ca­reer.

Then she was given the chance to run for Na­tional Party’s Waitakere seat in 2005 and though un­suc­cess­ful she en­tered as a list MP.

Ben­nett talked about how she was ‘‘writ­ten off’’ when she first en­tered pol­i­tics and be­ing from a small town, the stu­dents may come across the same sit­u­a­tion.

But the moral of her story was to never un­der­es­ti­mate their own power. ’’If it res­onates with one, then that’ll do.’’

Stu­dents had time to ask Ben­nett ques­tions af­ter the hour­long talk in the North Waikato school’s li­brary and one stu­dent asked her how they could keep stu­dents in school.

‘‘I think things like the (Huntly Col­lege) ser­vice acad­emy and the trades acad­emy are things that we back... but we are all dif­fer­ent, some of us like to read, some like to get our hands dirty,’’ Ben­nett said.

She said in the mod­ern world, schools needed to con­nect with dif­fer­ent ways of learn­ing.

It was the first time she’s vis­ited the school and she also trav­elled to the NZ School of Com­mer­cial Diver Train­ing, PLB Con­struc­tion Group in Huntly and Aparangi Village in Te Kauwhata.

Na­tional MP Paula Ben­nett at­tended Huntly Col­lege last week.

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