Meet the community board candidate using kumara to educate voters

It’s not every day you see candidates standing for election handing out kumara on the streets.

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Seven Sharp’s Michael Holland visited Ms Wells in the Northland town. Source: Seven Sharp

But, that’s exactly what Kawakawa-Moerewa community board candidate Manuwai Wells is doing.

Each kumara Ms Wells hands out represents the number of votes each person is entitled to in the Far North District Council elections - one for the mayor, four votes for councillors and one for the community board.

The Far North district's mayor and councillors make district-wide decisions on behalf of all residents.

Community boards advocate for the interests of its community and manage aspects such as drainage, footpaths, reserves, swimming pools and town litter.

The incumbent, who won her seat in a by-election last year, said she was doing it to help people get up to speed with how voting works in local body elections.

“It’s your voice whanau. It deserves to be heard. Make it count. Get out there and vote,” Ms Wells said.

The Far North is divided into three areas called wards. Each ward is then allocated council and community board seats according to sub-regions.

One resident has called it “simple, silly - it works for our community”.

She said she had no plans to run for mayor in the future.

Local body elections are carried out through postal vote. Voting papers are making their way through the post to all enrolled voters from today.

A full list of candidates running in the Far North is available on the council’s website.

Voting closes midday October 12.