Hastings District councillor Jacoby Poulain will sit on the Local Government committee Te Maruata for the first time today, as the representative of the Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate.
Ms Poulain was excited to learn last month she was the elected representative for the Maori electorate, which spanned the East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and parts of the greater Wellington region.
She was one of the six members to make up the national committee.
At 27, Ms Poulain was Hawke's Bay's youngest Maori local government leader and the youngest on the committee.
They were scheduled to meet quarterly and Ms Poulain said it would complement, rather than interfere with her role as a Hastings District councillor.
"It'll be a benefit I hope," she said. "We have a Maori committee that sits in Hastings District Council and I hope to take their issues through to a national committee, if they want. So I offer that back."
Ms Poulain said her training as a lawyer would be put to good use influencing national policy setting from a Maori view, but she was also ready to learn from her peers who had "years of experience" in strategy and policy making.
"If I can make a difference in moulding policy to make sure relationships are strengthened then I want to be part of this process," she said.