There are around 4000 things you need to know and learn about the job, outgoing National MP for Pakuranga Maurice Williamson told his 25-year-old replacement.
That hasn’t fazed Simeon Brown, the newly selected National Party candidate for Pakuranga.
Mr Brown turns turns 26 on Saturday.
After spending a couple of Sundays learning the ropes from the seasoned politician, Mr Brown smiles saying “now there are only around 3996 things more to learn,” from his predecessor.
Mr Williamson leaves for a diplomatic posting in Los Angeles in July.
“All politics is local,” says Mr Brown.
“As long as you surround yourself with good people and stay grounded and connected to people who put you there, you can serve the community well.
“Being young I have the energy and the determination. I am committed to working for a long time.”
Having spent his childhood looking up to his grandfather who has been a vital part of local government in Eketahuna in the Tararua district, he says political discussions were part and parcel of his upbringing.
He moved to Auckland from Rotorua at the age of 12. He also gives credit to his mother who has always been community-minded.
“From a very early age, she instilled a sense of how important it is to serve the community. She encouraged me to get involved – which has underpinned my political aspiration,” he says.
Mr Brown takes pride in the fact that as deputy chair of the Local Board in Manurewa from 2013 to 2016, he worked closely with the council on regional issues that included the Unitary Plan.
Pioneering the first Youth Council under Auckland City Council is another accomplishment he is proud of.
“I also pushed for the policy against synthetic cannabis and legal highs which weren’t regulated substances and being sold around school areas.
“I got personally involved and pushed for a change in law. There was even a shop in Moore Street in Howick that was selling it and had to be closed down,” says Mr Brown, who has a conjoint degree in Law and Commerce from Auckland University.
Soon to step down from his role as a commercial banker dealing with small-to-medium sized businesses at the Bank of New Zealand in Highbrook, he says he would like to wear out his shoes, door-knocking and getting to know what people want in his electorate.
With a very supportive wife Rebecca who he met at a leadership conference in Wellington, the young couple plan to move house from Manurewa where they currently live, to Pakuranga.
“Rebecca is Australian but we will ask everyone to forgive her for that,” he says with his trademark sense of humour.
Justifying the relocation he says: “Even Maurice didn’t initially live in Pakuranga. He moved here from Mount Eden.
“When I first talked to him he said you need to represent the value of Pakuranga, which I do. Pakuranga is a strong National Party electorate and I share the values of this very strong and resilient community. I am really passionate about serving them.”