Youth with a touch of political know how
At 23 Amy Uluave is the youngest candidate standing for the South Waikato District Council in the upcoming local body elections.
But don’t be thinking she is without experience as she’s been involved with multiple political projects.
That includes working with Labour’s Tamati Coffey as part of Young Labour, being selected by Winston Peters as a New Zealand First back bencher, and being the president of the Waiariki Institute of Technology Student Association where she studied tourism management.
Having spent the early years of her life growing up in Tokoroa and seeing an array of opportunities waiting to be realised in the town she thought what better way to utilise the skills she has acquired and stand for the Tokoroa Ward seat to seen them brought about.
‘‘I am Cook Islander, Tongan, Samoan, Maori, German and Scottish and Tokoroa has always been home for me although I moved away when my father died when I was 12. Island culture is huge here and my family are here so I wanted to come back home,’’ she said.
On returning from Melbourne three years ago she enrolled at Waiariki in Rotorua and it was there who political aspirations were born.
She was the main student opposing voice in the merger with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic as well as campaigning to have unisex toilets installed on campus.
She also managed the campaign of a Rotorua Lakes Council candidate in the last local body elections and helped out with Rotorua based New Zealand first list MP Fletcher Tabuteau’s.
‘‘Someone in Tokoroa my age has never done this but this is the next step for me because i have already been through student politics,’’ she said.
She said if she is elected tourism will be a big focus for her in order to create more jobs.
‘‘For me it will be exploring tourism opportunities and encouraging growth. I really want to think of a tourism investment strategy,’’ she said.
‘‘It is about getting others to invest in out district and not getting the council to fork it.’’
‘‘I’ve been looking at doing something at the Blue Spring, starting up a summer site doing tourism photography to create more jobs for young people because there are no jobs. It’s not huge but it is a start,’’ she said.