A Hamilton pharmacist has put up her hand for Hamilton City Council, with the hopes of adding diversity to the table in October.
Kesh Naidoo-Rauf, 34, was born in Durban, South Africa, but moved to New Zealand 19 years ago for a new life.
A resident of Enderley for the past nine years, Ms Naidoo-Rauf co-owns the Unichem pharmacies in Rototuna and Te Rapa.
Ms Naidoo-Rauf said it is time for a wider range of members from Hamilton's community to have a voice on council.
"We need councillors who represent the people that live in our city. Hamilton is home to 160 ethnicities, and the Hamilton population has a median age of 32 years.
"People can learn to trust their council more if they can relate to their councillors.
Diversity will allow for different perspectives and opinions, which plays a vital role in decision making for the city as a whole."
Ms Naidoo-Rauf said that the number of younger candidates standing for council was sending a powerful message to the community.
"A message that young people care about the future of our cities, regions and country. We need the wisdom and experience of older candidates, but we also need a younger perspective to allow for strong decision making."
She said the turning point in her life to help the community was the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks.
"I gathered financial support from the Rototuna Business Network (a group of local businesses including my own — Unichem Rototuna Pharmacy) and teamed up with my father-in-law and the local mosque to cook and deliver 300+ halal meals to Christchurch. I visited the victims and families in hospital, delivered meals to them."
She said the sustainability of the environment is a key challenge for the future council.
"Ensuring that every decision made is one that supports our environment, and reduces our carbon footprint.
"I strongly believe that being a city councillor will allow me to do what I am passionate about- helping the people in my city, who need it."
Ms Naidoo-Rauf also helps run the charity Barefeet NZ with her sister.
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