Huntly mum Sheryl Matenga, 26, set her heart on representing her community by running for a seat on the Waikato District Council.
She has been campaigning since July and filed her nomination on the due date.
She was listed as a candidate for the Huntly ward on the council website and even attended a regional debate for candidates aged under 30 hosted at the University of Waikato.
But her dream of making a difference by bringing youth and cultural diversity to the council table was short-lived after her nomination form was ruled invalid and rejected.
This was despite the form