Improving people's lives is her main motivation.
Senior National Party candidate Louise Upston is hoping for a fifth term as MP for Taupō. In Opposition for the past three years, while in Government Upston was chief whip and held portfolios for corrections, land and information, and women, and is currently spokeswoman for social development and social investment.
She says her critical values for her role as an MP were formed at19, after her mother died and she dropped out of university to start her own business, and then at 26 when she found herself a solo mother and had to go on a benefit for a short while.
"You get tossed and turned around a bit in business. It's not easy. Some of the most stressful times in my life have been worrying about paying employees. It's a burden business owners carry."
A firm believer in life-long learning, Upston went onto achieve an MBA as an adult student, and says she has been learning ever since. Currently she is learning about looking after her orchard and te reo Māori, "in fits and starts online. I would probably be better in a classroom".
"A key focus for me is education for young people and making sure they have the best opportunities regardless of their family circumstances," said Upston.
She says the First 1000 Days policy is very much a reflection of her time as a solo mum.
"My mum had died. I felt very much on my own. Providing support for the first 1000 days of a baby's life is critical to their success."
Taupō is a large rural electorate and Upston says she uses a variety of ways to connect with people. She says the fallout from Covid-19 shapes most discussions.
"People are worried about job security. There is a lot of pressure on household budgets. And I have never had so many discussions about mental health."
Upston says young people want to know if there will be a job for them to go to once they leave school or finish training. She says younger people say to her they don't know if they will ever buy a house.
"Paying for the Covid response has created debt for the next generation and they are really angry. There must have been a better way to protect older people without switching off the economy."
Not convinced the legislation has enough protection, Ms Upston will be voting 'No' for the End Of Life Choice referendum, saying it is more important to protect those who are vulnerable.
Constituents from Tokoroa begging her to get synthetic cannabis out of shops is an enduring memory. Acknowledging the two are different substances, Upston says she will be voting no to legalising the recreational use of cannabis.
"The genie is not out of the bottle [regarding the recreational use of cannabis]. In Tokoroa people were saying they never would have used it [synthetic cannabis] if it was illegal.
"Besides, as a mother of three it's quite a useful barrier to be able to say 'it's against the law'."
She says the social development portfolio fits best with her personal experience and if she were to hold office in the next Government she would hope to be minister.
"I know how hard it is to get off a benefit and into work. Social development is about preventing harm and hardship and providing opportunities in education and training. I've been there, it's part of my history."