A former Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions says her work will stand her in good stead if she wins the South Waikato mayoralty.
Sharon Claire from Ngati Raukawa says the region, which takes in Tokoroa, Putaruru and Tirau, is a microcosm of what New Zealand will look like one day.
It's dependent on forestry and farming, and has a high Maori and Pacific population and a wide spread of incomes.
Ms Claire told Waatea News there are significant environmental issues where a Maori perspective will be valuable.
She is standing against incumbent Neil Sinclair, a former dentist, and Tokoroa radio station owner Johnny Dryden.