Soraya has her roots planted in the Rangitīkei electorate. It has been her home for over two decades after working in Australia during the 1990s where she established businesses in construction, tourism and hospitality. She is uri o Te Awa Tupua o Whanganui, has iwi connections to Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa in Marton, Ngatī Haua in Taumarunui and Uenuku in Raetihi. She chaired her tribe Ngāti Rangi in Ohakune through its Post Settlement Governance process in 2018. Soraya has never forgotten her humble beginnings; coming from a whānau who worked in meat processing, cleaning and factory work. Her current business portfolios are in land utilisation, forestry, Māori tourism and honey. She is a JP, former member of Whanganui DHB and completed Executive Master Business of Administration at Massey University.
Soraya’s experiences in provincial Rangitīkei have informed what thriving communities mean and encouraged her into local body politics. She spent 6 years on Community Board, 12 years on Rangitīkei District Council. Whilst on council Soraya supported policies and initiatives that built the capacity of communities and led the charge on replacing drinking water supply infrastructure in her community. Through tenacity, dedication and hard work she has earned the respect of communities she represented and her colleagues as a person with integrity, energy and someone who gets stuff done.
She supports, economic development, sustainable business practices, climate change, improved rural connectivity, access to health services and warm dry homes.
Soraya lives at Ratana in the Rangitikei with husband Andre and youngest son.