Whanganui MP Steph Lewis won the seat last October from National's Harete Hipango, and has a three-year journey ahead of her to facilitate change.
Local Focus asked Lewis about her role and the year ahead.
"I am incredibly privileged to be the new MP for Whanganui including South Taranaki and Stratford," she said. "So I'm covering quite a bit of area and a pretty awesome part of New Zealand, I think.
"I sit on the Regulations Review Select Committee and am the deputy chair of the Primary Productions Select Committee down at Parliament as well," said Lewis.
The Primary Production role is a good fit considering agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing are the biggest earners in her electorate.
Lewis comes from a farming background and trained as a lawyer, spending her life between town and country.
"I've had a few dairy farmers tell me that they are not going to hold it against me that I came from a sheep and beef background," Lewis jokes.
She explains what she thinks the Climate Change Commission report means to primary production, often singled out as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are all in this together, we all share collective responsibility for bringing our emissions under control, and I'm taking steps towards achieving our goals to reduce those emissions, particularly over the next decade and few years.
"People predominantly talk about the agriculture industry but it's bigger than one industry. If we are going to get on top of climate change, if we are serious about reducing emissions then it's on everyone," she said.
"I love driving up the coast now, up the electorate, and seeing the Waipipi wind farm, and I know that's not popular with everybody but it is another step in that journey that we are all taking to move from reliance on fossil fuels to living those clean-green values that we hold and we try and export."
The size of the electorate means Lewis will be based in Whanganui and Hawera when she's not in Wellington.
"This year is all about the setup and embedding, that's what I'm calling it and that is just getting out across the electorate, building those networks, making myself known to stakeholders and saying 'my door is open, if you want to come and have a chat then don't hesitate'."
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