Green Party candidate for Rangitīkei, Ali Hale Tilley, runs The New Zealand Yoga Centre in Marton, where she has been based for the last three years.
She entered politics for the first time in 2020, and said the Government will need a "green heart" in order to tackle the challenges New Zealand faces in its immediate future.
Tilley said it was important that the Greens had a "face and a name" in the Rangitīkei region, especially as rural and farming communities in New Zealand were traditionally seen as National Party strongholds.
"I was over in Bulls at a Meet the Candidates event, and I believe I engaged the most with the farmers," Tilley said.
"We can go in butting heads because of what is perceived as the cultural differences between the Greens and traditional farming methods, but I think at the same time this creates an amazing playing field to enter into a robust conversation, acknowledge our differences, and then to create meaningful connections.
"That's what's been happening all around."
Tilley said a recent visit to ACRE Winter Forum in Palmerston North had highlighted a "huge push" towards regenerative farming and sustainability.
"Whenever change comes it can be a threat and all of us have to adapt.
"Once a farmer sees another farmer doing really well with a robust farm plan and sees that it's still profitable when it's sitting within all the criteria of sustainability and regeneration, then they say 'hang on a second, we can make this work'."
Tilley said whoever was elected to represent Rangitīkei needed to be effective in government and would represent everybody, not just the "richest people".
"Rangitīkei has a very diverse constituent base; in Marton we have a huge Pasifika community, and up in Taumarunui we have a huge Māori community.
"Who is representing us? Who is representing the ordinary people? That's who needs to get in.
"When you don't feel you're part of a system because you don't see yourself represented, then you're less likely to be engaged in the voting system and less likely to vote."
A push towards more affordable homes was "imperative", Tilley said, especially as Covid-19 had highlighted the inequities that still existed in Rangitīkei's urban areas.
"Even though the Greens do have separate policies on things, they are all interconnected.
"We do have a huge amount of rural towns, and affordable housing is crucial for the wellbeing of everybody.
"If you've got great housing, you're being paid a living wage and things are less stressful around the home, then you're less likely to have the issues that poverty seems to promote."
Tilley said she was asked to consider being the Green Party candidate in Rangitīkei after previous candidate Joe Boone withdrew from the race due to health issues.
"I wrote in my 2020 journal that I'd move from being a citizen to being an activist, and when I got asked to represent the Greens I thought 'damn, be careful what you wish for'.
"I went through all their policies and every single one of them were in line with my values, everything was a tick.
"It's time for action, and the Green Party are definitely proactive in making the correct changes."