It comes as a bit of a surprise when 32-year-old Labour Party candidate for Pakuranga says that she has been in politics for 10 years.
“I’m currently a second term elected member of Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board (Panmure Local Board) and the Mt Wellington Licensing Trust,” she says.
She openly admits that she is contesting the Pakuranga seat in the General Elections more to raise the Party vote and be visible in the area.
“We know we are not going to win this seat but we would like to raise the Labour Party flag and make people aware of the work we have been doing,” says the young mother-of-two, Reiko-San, 8, and Diora-Lee, 11.
Henry says she has mapped out a definite six-year progression plan in politics.
“This is the 12th campaign I am working on. I plan to do two more terms in local government before moving to the Central Government.”
The former enviroschool teacher, with a background in retail, says she would like to create a Maori presence in the historic Maori sites of Pakuranga and Howick.
“I’m of Cook Island Maori descent and my family is multicultural. I am keen to get diverse voices together,” she says.
“I would like to create more transparency with the AMETI project since people have so many questions and mixed views. I would also like to work with youth and in the environmental space with our waterways.”
Henry says she has been a facilitator at the Aspiring Leaders Forum in Wellington which is an annual four-day event.
“We have 100 young leaders from all around New Zealand. I’ve absolutely enjoyed working with the youth and empowering them with values and faith that they can succeed.”
Having witnessed drug use and domestic violence whilst growing up, Henry says she is equipped to help people navigate their lives through the abuse.
What started out as volunteering work in community gardens at the Housing New Zealand Residence Association led her to the journey “of understanding what is going on in the area and the need to do more”.
“Now I am so enjoying the campaign trail but its lots of hard work and a great opportunity to reach out to people.”