Heather Gee-Taylor Q&A interview

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself Heather?

I grew up on a sheep and beef farm, and realised very quickly that agriculture was where I wanted to take my future. I then decided to head to Lincoln to do my Ag Comms degree. Straight after finishing Uni I was invited on a trip to Canada with Charolias breeders NZ, as I also own my stud. After I returned, I tried out Rural banking but discovered that I wanted to be back on farm. I also hit the ground running with my campaign to be elected onto the Manawatu District Council, Rural ward and got in. Just this week I have also completed a week of shearing school as I’m always wanting to learn new skills and develop myself.

Q. What inspired you to attend It’s all about YOU?

I attended It’s all about YOU 3-4 months after finishing with the bank, as I was in a weird time in my life and changing where I was going, so thought the programme would help understand myself better and give me more direction.

Q.What was so good about attending It’s all about YOU?

The facilitators were great! However, what really stood out for me was the motivation I got from the other women on the programme. The stories they had and the challenges they ha

d faced are a testament to who they are and where they are going in their life and I found them very motivating, especially as the youngest person in the room. The programme helped to give me an understanding of what really drives me and I left the course with a lot more direction. YOU really helped me to realise that I wanted something more, and something to work alongside my “hands on” life on the farm.

Q.As a young person attending YOU, would you recommend it to other young women?

We thought we were going to be out of our depths being the youngest in the room, however soon realised that did not matter. I would love to see more young people on the programme as it helps to make decisions in your life sooner.

Q. What’s your drive for being on the Manawatu District Council?

I needed something other than hands on farming, and local government gives you a broad understanding of how politics works and what’s happening in your community. Getting on meant I could campaign for what I believe in and what I understand.
I’m keen to do more collaboration with youth and support our rural communities.

Q. What have been your highlights so far while being on council?

So far on the council I have been really active in the youth space and have driven the move to a Youth Council for our young people. There has been a lot to take in, in a short space of time but it has really sparked an interest for me in politics. I have recently enrolled through Massey to study a Graduate Diploma in Politics to further my learnings in this area.

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