The 2020 election campaign trail saw Kaya Sparke, 24, head back to school, when the Green party candidate visited Rotorua Girls' High School. She spoke to senior students about the upcoming election.
"I'm a former student of Girls' High," she told the students. "It feels weird to be talking to you like this. I feel like I should be sitting there listening."
Sparke is focusing on young people in her electorate.
"Being young, being a newbie and also from one of the smaller parties, it can be a little bit weird," she said. "But I want to normalise this a little bit more so people who are my age and look like me, are a part of politics."
A group of students from her former school were a receptive audience as she explained some of the Green Party's key policies.
"One of the founding parts of the Green Party is honouring te Tiriti o Waitangi and that is a huge aspect of everything we do," she said. "We need to honour te Tiriti and Māori rights."
The students responded particularly well to policies to make tertiary education free and supporting tenants' rights. It's an issue that is important for Sparke.
"I grew up quite poor. My mum was a solo mother on the DPB so we got by, but it was a bit of a struggle," she said. "That allowed me to understand some of the issues that we are facing today.
"Being a young woman in Aotearoa we see politics as dominated by old Pākehā men and we need a better variety of voices, so I want to speak for myself but I also want to be an ally to others who aren't represented in politics."
At number 19 on the list Sparke is unlikely to end up in Parliament but she's planning to give back to her community in other ways by opening a vegan cafe.
Also standing in the Rotorua electorate:
• Pete Kirkwood for ACT
• Alan Tāne Solomon for the New Conservatives
• Karri-Ann Vercoe-Black for One party
• Kiri Ward for Advance NZ
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