It’s refreshing to hear out of the mouth of someone standing for local body politics that they don’t have all the answers. It’s even more heartening to hear that they want to consult and represent what people actually want.
After attending a local body meeting earlier this year, Sarah Nilson was struck by the lack of diversity of the group. She felt compelled to represent.
Initially she thought should start in the background doing the practical things, handing out posters, licking stamps but she was encouraged to do more, she was asked to stand. Whoever made this decision saw the glaringly obvious potential in this very articulate and humble 28 year old Maori woman.
Sarah has also experienced life outside of Auckland, taking some time out of her studies to spend 3 years overseas.
Passionate about social and environmental issues, Sarah has lived in the area all of her life and has a wealth of knowledge of the Kaipatiki local board catchment. She attended the local schools and went on to Auckland University and then later Massey to study Speech Language Therapy.
She explored her own Maori background as a teenager, learning the language and embracing the culture which feels a natural affinity towards.
Sarah understands the hardships facing people in our communities today. She has experienced living on $10 a week during her time in Korea and her experiences as a University student trying to make ends meet have been challenging at times.
Sarah is part of Shore Action. She is humble and genuinely wants to represent, consult and help.
I ran into Sarah the day after I met her to write this. She was outside the supermarket handing out Shore Action publications. It was pouring with rain.
I came home and lectured my family about making sure that they vote in the local body elections.
Sarah’s sense of social commitment, her generosity with her time and her integrity are all inspirational. She’s prepared to put herself out in the public arena and work hard.