The New Zealand General Election takes place later this month on 23 September 2017 and Agnes Loheni, one of the sisters from the local Samoan fashion brand MENA is stepping into the political ring as the National Party Candidate for Mangere.
Agnes, the eldest daughter of Fepulea’i Pelasio Loheni, of Siumu, Lefagaoali’i Siumu, and Filomena Mata’utia Loheni, of Amaile, Lalomanu, Salea’aumua, Asau, Safotu, is delighted to be selected by the National Party in April this year.
She’s been humbled by the support of friends, family and complete strangers who have jumped onto her campaign team.
Agnes is standing against incumbent and long standing Labour Party M.P. for Mangere Aupito Sua William Sio.
She made her choice to stand with National because she believes that National’s values are more aligned to the values that have shaped not only the achievements in her life but also her attitude to challenges.
“I’ve seen my parents and work hard all their lives to keep my sisters and I housed, clothed, fed and educated,” she said.
“They’ve supported and served our extended aiga and I’ve seen them uphold our values around of faith, service and pride in our cultural heritage.
Even though there was not a lot of money growing up, we were rich in the currency of love, faith, the strength of our families and a belief that we could achieve the future we wanted with education and hard work.”
Although Mangere is a strongly held Labour seat, Agnes is standing to give the people of Mangere a more aspirational choice because she believes that prosperity cannot be handed to you through a welfare benefit.
Agnes’ journey of building a successful business, raising five children, and attaining a degree in Chemical Engineering wasn’t easy but working hard, resilience, her faith and persevering when times get tough are all qualities that she thinks will put her in a strong place to serve the people of Mangere and all New Zealanders as a Member of Parliament.
Agnes has been busy campaigning since April.
Door-knocking, visiting schools, community groups, public meetings and candidate debates are part and parcel of election campaigning. Agnes is delighted to have been able to host the N.Z. Prime Minister Le’ulu’aiali’iotumua Bill English in the Mangere electorate on a number of occasions.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have a Party Leader like Bill English who speaks often about his faith, the strength of his large family and his vision to make sure New Zealand continues to both prosper and care for those on our community who need it.”
Agnes encourages all those living in Samoa who are NZ Citizens or Permanent Residents to vote in this year’s election.
They can do that by taking their ID to the NZ High Commission Office in Apia.
The deadline for overseas voting papers to be returned to the NZ High Commission is 4pm Friday 22nd September.