Massey student Liam McLeavey is one of many Kiwis pushing the boundaries of New Zealand politics by being at a community leadership level and changing 50 young peoples lives in his hometown of Levin.
Liam has been involved with the Horowhenua Youth Council for 5 years and has spent his time improving community development, running events and creating new initiatives.
1 in 5 young people are disengaged from education, employment, and training in Horowhenua.
“To me, frankly that wasn’t good enough,” he says.
Earlier in 2018, Liam approached the government for funding that led to a $50,000 grant from the Provincial Growth Fund to conduct a district-wide feasibility study.
By the end of his time at high school he placed over 50 young people into work.
As young people become the literal future, Liam believes an interest in politics from the youth is important.
“Young people need to be more engaged and in leadership roles so that we can provide a balanced view and perspective.”
The 19-year-old has received awards at both local and national level, with his most recent awards being ‘The Student Leader of the Year’ and ‘People’s Choice’ from Crimson Education last year.
“On my family’s side, ingrained in me are the strong values of service to the community,” Liam says.
In 1901, his distant grandfather was Mayor of Horowhenua County.
The Massey University student is studying a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Social Policy and Politics at the Manawatū campus.
“I am loving every minute of it.”
After completing his degree, Liam has even bigger plans.
“Whatever I am doing professionally, I am working towards the betterment of peoples’ lives and assisting to unleash the potential of our communities.”