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King's College student runs for spot on Auckland Grammar School board 'to help my brother'

For the first time, a student at one of New Zealand's most prestigious schools is running for the board of trustees at another top school and all because of brotherly love.

King's College and Auckland Grammar School have been rivals on the rugby field since 1896.

But one King's student doesn't see Grammar as an adversary, rather an opportunity.

While studying at King's, 18-year-old Fa'afuhia Fia wants to take his leadership skills and put them to work in the boardroom at Auckland Grammar, where his brother goes to school.

"I've decided to run for the Auckland Grammar board to help my brother and the Pacific community at Auckland Grammar," said Fa'afuhia, or Fa as he's known.    

Most secondary schools have a student representative on their board, but the majority are parents. The elected representatives serve a three-year term.

Fa realises his quest is a big call for a big brother, an even bigger call as a student from another school.

"This is extremely unique," said Lorraine Kerr, New Zealand School Trustees Association President. 

"In fact I think this is a first in New Zealand."

Fa said: "Mum and Dad felt like I would better serve our community as a young person. And I think they've entrusted me with something very special."

Prominent Samoan leader and chief Tino Pereira said Fa's move is a remarkable expression of courage by such a young man. 

"It reflects, I think in some way, what 21st century New Zealand should be about," Mr Pereira said.

I want to see my brother succeed - Kings College student Fa'afuhia Fia'

There are six spots up for grabs on the Grammar School board.

Despite Fa's plans to study law next year at university, he's realistic about his chances of getting votes from Grammar parents.

"To be quite honest, very low," he said.

Fa is up against it, facing a bunch of candidates that might put many company boards to shame.

They include, for example, the chief executive of Steel and Tube, the chairman of accounting firm Ernst and Young, SkyCity's chief financial officer, and a company general manager who was the first Polynesian head boy at Grammar.

"Just shows the community around that school is really experienced and they want to see their children succeed. And likewise I want to see my brother succeed," Fa said.

The School Trustees Association commends Fa for standing up and being counted.

"I guess the rest is up to the people who will vote for him or not," Ms Kerr said.

Fa will find out next week when the votes are counted if he's got over the line.

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It’s all because of brotherly love. Source: 1 NEWS