Newest candidate not scared of competition

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James Maxwell
James Maxwell

A 19-year-old checkout operator has been named as Tauranga's latest political candidate set to represent the region if successful in this year's election.

James Maxwell knows he may seem like an unlikely candidate but has a response for those who felt he did not fit the mould of his political peers.

"My answer would be what can't I offer? I've been around for 19 years. I've experienced the high years and lows of Tauranga. I've had a good education. I'm aware of what's happening in Tauranga and in the country so I think just because I'm a little bit younger, doesn't mean I'm too young too represent people and get things done."

Mr Maxwell, of Ngai Tai and Te Whakatohea iwi, would represent United Future and is understood to be the youngest political candidate in the running for this year's September 20 election.

Mr Maxwell said he was not intimidated by some of the competition he was up against, such as seasoned politician and current Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.

"Are we talking about the same Bridges that signed away a forest and he didn't even know about it? This 19-year-old knows all about that," Mr Maxwell said.

"It's such an early stage but over the next few days and few weeks we will be arranging our social media and Facebook pages, and public meetings.

"I will let them suss me out first. You don't go out of your way to make them feel uncomfortable. People will slowly get to understand who I am. That will be a way I hope to gain their vote."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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