Dani Lebo grew up in New Jersey, USA and speaks fluent Spanish. After moving to New Zealand in 2008 she started learning te reo Māori and in her video interview with Local Focus, introduced herself with a detailed pepeha.

Lebo and her husband run Eco School on their Whanganui farm and Lebo says she is running for Whanganui District Council because she wants to bring a young parent's perspective to council.

"The three platforms that I'm running on are Whanganui as a child positive city, Whanganui as a resilient city, and empowered citizens," Lebo said.

"Whanganui needs to be a place that is a safe place to learn and to grow up."


Lebo discussed the need for local government to represent all residents, transparent decision-making and not duplicating services. But her biggest concern is climate change.

"The council has started doing something in that area, probably not with enough urgency that's required, but that's going to affect us whether we like it or not so we need to start thinking long-term."

Lebo says the current council has successfully lifted the profile of Whanganui nationally.

"We are getting lots of families moving in, lots of young people moving in. It's fantastic and it is bringing a lot of money into the community."

Made with funding from