Seven candidates are running in the upcoming Hastings District Council Hastings-Havelock North ward byelection. Hawke's Bay Today is profiling each candidate. Today we feature Rizwaana Latiff.
As a midwife she's been delivering babies for the past 30 years and now council candidate Rizwaana Latiff wants to deliver for the community.
Ms Latiff moved from South Africa to make New Zealand her home 18 years ago, and has lived in Hawke's Bay for the past 16 years.
As well as working as a nurse and midwife over that time, she'd also been actively involved in many community organisations including the Multicultural Association, Zonta, New Zealand Council of Women and the Hawke's Bay settlement support forum.
All these roles involved listening to people and advocating for them and she said she wanted to bring that approach to council.
"I want to see our council being more visible and listening to people.
"We need to be seen to be doing more than just talking about what needs to be done - council has a role to facilitate and bring different agencies together to deal with the issues in the community.
"We also need to be listening to and representing the people who do not feel they have a voice."
She said that while the council had obligations in terms of service provision and infrastructure, there was not enough focus on social issues around the likes of health and education - a focus she could bring.
"We have a lot of business people on the council - we need some people with heart and a focus on connecting with people."
As a midwife, she had developed connections across all sectors of the local community - from migrants to Maori and Pacific Island to Pakeha.
"Whoever they are, I am involved with their families at a very stressful, as well as the most important time of their lives.
"Helping people navigate becoming new parents gives me insight into the stresses, the highs and lows, and I want to bring these skills to council."
She also wanted to see the health and well-being of community members considered and highlighted in every decision the council made, and more co-ordination between the council and social and health agencies.
"Being elected to council would give me a platform to go out to the community, to listen and hear their concerns and issues, and do what I can to help.
"I'm not wanting to change the world in one day, it's about making a difference to one person at a time."