Ōtaki's new woman in Parliament, Terisa Ngobi, is still buzzing from her shock victory on election night, which has set a few precedents.
She said she's is "the first Pasifika person, and of course the first Pasifika woman, and the first person/woman of colour to represent Ōtaki in Wellington."
An introduction to her new work environment came immediately after election night, followed by a few days full of new information, coping with an endless stream of new impressions and meeting new people. It only increased the excitement for her of an opportunity to present Kāpiti and Horowhenua in Wellington.
"There are 22 new MPs, so it will take a while to sort an office space in Parliament and once that is done, I will be looking for an office in the electorate," Ngobi said.
She said there is a good rapport among the Labour caucus and all the newbies, who initially were huddled together in a large room, awaiting the assigning of office space - and they took the time to get to know each other.
"Parliament is now really diverse and Labour's Pasifika caucus has now doubled to 11 members."
Big issues for her the coming years are the expressway and the Capital Connection.
"I have travelled to and from Wellington for 16 years. I have used the train a lot and driven the road. I know how bad the road is and the train service should be much more frequent.
"I am really excited that the Provincial Growth Fund had brought a lot of green jobs to our areas."
She said she is keen to explore more environmentally positive initiatives.
"We must protect the environment and there are a few good initiatives in our electorate happening, such as one that is looking at ways to recycle plastics."
Other issues that have her attention are housing, jobs, and healthcare, especially out-patient care, and the electrification of the rail track all the way to Palmerston North.
She said she decided to have a go at Nathan Guy's seat, once he announced his retirement, for the good of her community.
"I did that for my kids and my community. I care about what happens to people and our environment. I have seen the needs of many people, seen the poverty some of us must deal with and that is not right."
During the Covid-19 lockdown she spent some time conversing with elderly residents.
"For the entire electorate, a hospital is just too far to go, whether you need to go to Palmerston North or Wellington, especially for the elderly. We need to make out-patient care in particular much more accessible for them and closer to home."
She said Kāpiti has different issues from Horowhenua.
"Horowhenua has high-deprivation areas. So much so that some of my campaign team who are from Kāpiti were shocked. They had no idea how bad it is."
She said her new role still feels surreal but she is down-to-earth enough not to let that carry her away.
"It may never really sink in. This is not about me, it is about Horowhenua and Kāpiti and their needs."
She is Levin-born and bred and simply loves living here. And it is her passion for her town, her district and its possibilities that drive her to improve on what we have.
She's planning to regularly inform her electorate about what is going on, including via columns in the Horowhenua Chronicle.