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Young gun Vergunst

By Chelsea Boyle

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Carterton District Councillor Rebecca Vergunst has a lot to celebrate today on her twenty-third birthday.

She set out last year to bring a youth perspective to the council and blazed the trail for politically-minded young people by becoming one of the youngest councillors in the country.

The mum is now getting ready to add to her young family by welcoming her second baby which is due in March.

Mrs Vergunst said she was well prepared for the adventure ahead and was much less nervous than when she was awaiting the arrival of daughter Malia, now 21 months.

“It’ll be fun to have all those new-born memories again,” she said.

“It is a juggle, but it’s one of my personal beliefs that women should be able to have these opportunities.”

She credits her husband Josh Vergunst for making so much of what she does possible as a huge support in her life.

“I’m really lucky that my family lives close by and that I have such supportive people around me.”

She said she had been enjoying her new council role and the scope it had given her to pursue her environmental interests.

As someone who is hands-on in the community she believes she has a lot to bring to the council.

Mrs Vergunst is currently focused on the Bird Park project and said door-knocking to gain community ideas for possible design plans had been “a really positive experience”.

“I met people I don’t think I would have met otherwise.”

Among her other council jobs, she will be working on plans for waste minimisation in Carterton.

“We don’t think often enough about where our waste goes,” she said.

“There is a whole lot that goes in our rubbish bins that shouldn’t be there.”

She said working on the council had allowed her to follow a few of her “passions around green spaces and outdoor activity”.

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