Former Waikato rugby player Anthony (AJ) Tuhoro is running for Tauranga City Council.

Tuhoro, 30, grew up in Hamilton and, after a stint in Auckland, now lives in Welcome Bay with his wife, Shinae, and three sons.

"I really want my kids to be able to grow up here, work here entry-level wise, get an education here and live out their career here. This place will become their tūrangawaewae," Tuhoro said.

In his video interview with Local Focus he explained his reason for standing, after discovering he is one of the few Māori to put their names forward for election to the city council.


"I was looking for representation, I was looking for someone to champion my message. I wanted someone to be on council that represented kids, that represented Māori and there was no one."

Tuhoro says he is campaigning for the children.

"We focus on the kids who are the future leaders of this nation and we make sure we make decisions based on them. And I don't think you can get it wrong. I think potentially that's the issue, our current councillors perhaps have forgotten that.

"There's a lot of great men and women on the board, I think perhaps they're not in touch with the current community climate. Tauranga has changed, it's no longer a place where you come and retire. It's a place where families want to raise their children."

He says issues such as building a museum should not be a priority, but free public transport and more events for families should be.

"We've got people on the streets, people struggling to pay their rent, people struggling to put food on the table."

Made with funding from