The youngest Member of Parliament in the Pacific has encouraged youths to believe in themselves and strive for their ambitions in politics or leadership.
Tehani Brown is 22 years of age and is an independent MP from the Cook Islands.
She was in Niue attending the annual Commonwealth Regional Meeting for women MPs held this week.
Brown was first elected into Parliament in the Cook Islands in the 2018 general elections. She resigned to run as an independent MP in early 2019 and got re-elected in March..
“It was the people that asked me to stand for them, initially they wanted my dad to stand but he couldn’t so they wanted the next best or whoever could live up to what my dad provided to them. So at first I did not want to, I said no and then a lot of people were asking me , some were begging me and then I was asked to think about it and that I had nothing to lose, if I didn’t win I still have my backup plan so I just thought I’d give it a go, thought I’d give it a risk.” said Brown
Asked on whether she plans to stay on in Politics. She responded that she might run for the next elections.
She added that she hopes to build networks and gain more mentors from the commonwealth women MP’s meeting.
And her advise to young aspiring parliamentarians?
“The most important thing is to respect your elders, be humble, work hard and don’t forget where you come from as well and try not to be too shy. Don’t hold back. A lot of our young girls, we tend to hold back and we have a lot of self-doubt but don’t doubt yourself just give it a go, even if you think you don’t think you could get past at least you try that’s the most important thing just try.”
Meanwhile, a total of 11 women parliamentarians from the Pacific gathered in Niue for their annual Commonwealth Regional Meeting.
The theme for the meeting this year is “Her Voice – Effective political participation by and for Pacific Women”
Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki, NZ MP and CWP Pacific Chairperson encouraged the women MPs “You have been blessed to stand up and lead” and to use your language, quote your own people’s achievements; to be proud of your language.
This is the first time Niue hosted the Pacific women parliamentarians meeting.