Lack of diversity on council is one of the main reasons 23-year-old Kaya Sparke decided to run in this year's local body elections.

"A pretty specific group of people are having their say and that's not fair, that's not democracy," Sparke told Local Focus.

"We currently only have one councillor who's under 50, we only have three women on council and that's just not demographically representative of our community."

Housing, sustainability and the environment are also high on the Rotorua Lakes Council candidate's list of local issues.


And she has a strong argument against those who would say she's not old enough to sit on the council.

"Life experience is very important, and I think that it is important that we have people of that age group on council too. But I think that I have a foresight, I can look into the future. And that's the future that I'm going to live in, that I have to deal with.

"That's something that those people don't have, and while they have concerns about our environment, it's a different way of looking at it because this is going to be my life. It's going to be my children's life.

"Foresight is really important and it shouldn't be undervalued, and life experience isn't everything."

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