A farmer from the Republic of Whangamomona has announced her intention to stand for Council in the upcoming elections.
Amanda Harris, who with her husband Aaron farms at Pohokura, announced her intention to stand last week after the official unveiling of the new bullock sculpture in Whangamomona.
Over the past few years, Amanda has represented her community in a variety of ways, sitting on committees and boards for various projects.
"I have realised how important it is for our rural communities to be represented in their district."
Amanda says she has decided to stand as people in the rural communities need a strong voice at the council table.
"I believe I am young enough to understand the modern challenges and rewards that this rural lifestyle choice brings. This, combined with my many years of experience in building up a farming a business with my husband and two young daughters, means I will be able to make informed contributions to decisions being made."
At 31, she is younger than many candidates.
"I don't think that is a bad thing, experience comes with more than just age."
Amanda says she has attended several Council meetings through the years and is well aware of the amount of work required, as well as the distance she would need to regularly travel to meetings. She says it is just under a two-hour round trip from her farm to the Council building on Miranda Street.
"That distance is pretty much the point of me standing. I know all too well just how isolated people in our rural communities can feel, so it is important to represent that voice at a local government level."
"It would be easy, living rurally, to get yourself stuck in a valley so to speak, and distant from what is happening. But we are part of this district too. Living rurally isn't a limitation, it is an opportunity. I bring practical experience from the ground level with me."
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