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Keeping busy . . . Waitaki electorate Labour candidate Liam Wairepo in his new Oamaru office, formerly the Flight Centre, on lower Thames St. PHOTO: ASHLEY SMYTH

For the Waitaki electorate’s 21-year-old Labour candidate, youth will be an advantage, with a jam-packed few weeks leading up to next month’s election.

Liam Wairepo, who grew up in Tauranga, but had lived in Otago for about five years, has recently opened a new office in the former Oamaru Flight Centre premises, in Lower Thames St.

Mr Wairepo said he was loving his first few months of the campaign. He had been dividing his time between travelling around the electorate meeting voters and finishing up a job this month as a parliamentary communications policy and research assistant to go fulltime with the campaign. He was also president of the Otago University Residential Staffers Union, helping residential assistants at the university’s accommodation halls.

Mr Wairepo said it had been “really good” to explore some of the expansive electorate and talk to a variety of people.

“It’s good to get feedback on the ground from people involved in the different sectors and find out what support is actually necessary [following the Covid-19 lockdown].”

At the weekend, Mr Wairepo travelled to Auckland for the Labour Party campaign launch, and he was now looking forward to meeting former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who was coming to Oamaru next week.

Ms Clark would arrive on August 12. She would be taking part in a business leaders’ meeting on the impact of Covid, joining a public discussion panel, and officially opening the new Labour office during her visit, Mr Wairepo said.