'Time is right' to step up for the community

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Maryanne Marsters.
Maryanne Marsters.

Since her family arrived from the Pacific Islands to live in Napier, Maryanne Marsters has been proud to call it her home.

"Napier raised us, Napier educated us - Napier became home," she said.

Her family, with a Pacific background of the Cook Islands, Tahiti and the Gilbert Islands, arrived in Hawke's Bay during the 1960s and she has embraced her new home closely since.

She has firm values and said they lay within hard work, caring for family, church and simply "looking out for others in the community".

It was her devotion to value and looking out for others which effectively held her back from entering the council race back in 2013.

"I thought about it in 2013 but I was looking after my father - until he passed."

But she had also thought about the concept of taking a place on council before that, while attending the 30th anniversary of the national Pasifika group, which she is a member of.

The guest speaker spoke about one of the group's members in Wellington who had asked her for advice as she was looking to stand for council there.

But she did not feel confident in qualifying for such a role to represent the community.

"She said to this woman - you know the community, you live in the community, you are qualified."

Ms Marsters said she now had the time to "stop thinking about it and doing it".

She visited the Napier City Council website to reacquaint herself with the current councillors, who she said had achieved some good things for the city. But she was left wondering if the council reflected the diverse communities within Napier.

She said she had learned that although her wider family possessed their shared values they often had different perspectives and saw things differently.

"I bring to this election other perspectives," she said.

"I believe the opportunity to consider and appreciate other perspectives, other ways of thinking, seeing and doing needs to be at the decision-making table of our city council."

Ms Marsters stopped short of using the word "challenge" when it came to summing up her approach - preferring to say she "won't step back" when something needed sorting and doing.

"Let diversity be the change."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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