RARE PACIFIC ISLANDER RUNS FOR AUCKLAND COUNCIL

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (NiuFM, June 12) – They're more likely to be palagi and older. That's usually the profile of our local body reps and it's something Peseta Sam LotuIiga wants to change...

[PIR editor’s note: The term "palagi" refers to Caucasians.]

The Samoan business consultant is throwing his hat in the ring.

He's campaigning for a seat on the Auckland City Council in this year's October local body elections.

Sam has already started door knocking and getting to know the voters in his Tamaki and Maungakiekei ward.

He says he's hoping that his Pacific and younger outlook will be a point of difference that works in his favour.

Wellington city councillor Taima Fagaloa says there's one other thing needed: commitment.

Having a heart is essential in local body politics says the Pasifika councillor.

Taima Fagaloa and Litea Ah Hoi are the only Pasifika councillors in the greater Wellington area and the only Pasifika women councillors in the whole country.

Taima says Pacific people only need one thing to be successful in city council politcs.

Political pundits are picking that more Pacific people will seek election in this year's local body elections. Most of them will be in Manukau, Auckland and, of course, Wellington.

There is just one Maori among the 61 councillors, covering five cities, in the greater Wellington area.

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