My road in life has been direct.
When she was 18 years old, she stood for council and was elected.
Politics always interested her because she realized that instead of changing things little by little, you could change whole systems.
She later became the first mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, the country's third-most populous area.
Says that when you're the first person to ever do something, you're going to get some of it wrong, and that's totally fine.
She laughs at the idea that someone would find their lifelong passion in their twenties; says she still doesn't have it all figured out.
Since her mayorship ended, she's turned her focus to environmental conservation.
Her company, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, uses algae to clean dirty and contaminated water.
In 2008, The Guardian voted her one of 2008's "50 People Who Could Change the World."