Lawyer Maiava Aiolupotea Ta’atitiomanaia Visekota is no stranger to the community and in Parliament. She entered the political arena in 2011 running from Faleasi’u and Fasito’o-Uta.
This time, she has decided to run again for the election from her mother’s constituency, Alataua-West in Savai’i. The constituency comprises of Neiafu, Falelima and Tufutafoe.
Running as an H.R.P.P independent, Maiava’s main goal is to improve the development of her constituency.
“I felt that there was a need for development and I decided that I would use my strength and energy and also dedicate my time to serve my people and help them out by representing them in Parliament,” said Maiava. According to Maiava, a Member of Parliament is “someone who represents the views of the people of the district. They do not only represent them but at the same time, they need to advocate for the needs of the people.” Moreover, she believes a Member of Parliament is “someone that uses the resources that they have access to for the betterment of the people and the development of the district.
“So you’re not only their voice, but you’re also a door to open opportunities for them and bring in resource to help them out.”
Education, agriculture, youth unemployment and the development of tourism within the constituency are the main areas Maiava wants to address.
“I want to ensure that every child gets the opportunity and can have access to all opportunities available for them.”
Maiava referred to a particular school in the village of Falelima that is in great “need” of a new school facility for the children of Falelima.
“I am aware that the current Member of Parliament had secured funding for that recently.”
Development of agriculture is also critical.
“There’s a tremendous gap there that needs to be filled,” she said, adding that she wants to provide them with the right resources and encourage them to press on.
For the development of tourism within the district, she said the “huge beach fronts” within the three villages should be developed and it could be a source of income for their families.
As for youth unemployment, the potential candidate believes she can be a “door of opportunity” for the youth of Alataua West.
Drawing on her experience, Maiava is confident she has what it takes.
“It’s anyone’s game at the moment and I have a lot of supporters but you never count your eggs before they hatch in this game.
“Never underestimate your opposition but also you never feel confident. You have to get out there and talk to people. People will not vote for you if they don’t know who you are and your willingness to represent them in Parliament.”
Lastly, Maiava has a message for the youth of Samoa.
“Never underestimate the potential of young men and women to be leaders of the future,” she said. “You have every opportunity to be a leader. It is not at all about qualifications; being a Member of Parliament is about representation. Look to be leaders at every level.” Maiava is a qualified lawyer and accredited mediator.