Voice of the people
Name: Willow-Jean Prime
Job: Member of Parliament
City/town: Moerewa, Northland
What does your job entail? Advocating on issues important to my communities and my party. Making laws and policies for our country.
How long have you been doing it? Six months-ish.
What led you to this job? I was asked by people in my community to represent them, be a strong voice for them, on the Far North District Council then in Parliament.
What attracted you to this line of work? I’m a fierce advocate. I’ve always challenged the status quo, so I kind of knew I’d end up here. I believe we can and must do better for our people. That’s why I am here.
What training was involved? We are learning on the job! All my work as a lawyer and community advocate, and on the Far North District Council, helped prepare me but there is a lot to learn. I’m learning new skills constantly, including public speaking.
What do you love most about your job? Helping people. Knowing that what we are doing is making our country a better place.
And what are the worst bits? Being away from home and my whānau a lot is hard. And with work not always being able to give people what they want, so you can’t always keep everyone happy.
What motivates you in your work? When I see something that isn’t right I get motivated to do something about it. And when you see you’ve been part of making a change.
What are your career goals? To be a great MP whatever I am given to do. It is a privilege being an MP. I know a lot of people aren’t interested in politics or think it’s irrelevant, but I believe it affects every area of someone’s life.
Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? My mum. I admire her courage to do what wasn’t always easy or popular but what she believed was right. She did it because she cared. My goal is to be as caring and courageous as her.
Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Moerewa and went to Bay of Islands College. I loved growing up in a small rural town, where we knew everybody’s names and were close to all our whānau.