National supporters backing Agnes Loheni. Photo/ Facebook.
National candidate Agnes Loheni says in order to address social issues such as housing, health and poverty, New Zealand needs a strong economy.
Radio 531pi host Ma'a Brian Sagala asked Loheni what her thoughts were on the National Party being perceived as a business-driven party as opposed to investing in social issues.
Loheni, who co-owns the Samoan fashion line MENA, says New Zealand cannot work on social issues without a strong economy.
"People need to realise that investment can't come if we don't have a strong economy," she says. "Most of our economy actually comes from small businesses, it's not driven by large corporates."
Loheni is running for the Mangere electorate which is currently held by Labour MP Aupito William Sio.
Agnes Loheni. Photo/ Facebook.
She says she wants to push the importance of education for the South Auckland community.
"When I look at South Auckland I see so much potential," she says. "Ultimately it comes down to ensuring that we have a really good foundation for education and providing really good pathways and options and opportunities for our young people to move into, whether it's in tertiary education or trades."
The mother-of-five is a former Labour supporter. She says she didn't leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left her.
"I don't believe that we should be encouraged to be dependent on the state," she says. "True empowerment comes from being independent, working hard and supporting your own families looking after your own community. The state should be there as a safety net but I don't believe that the state should encourage us to be dependent on them."