Keeping a close eye on "prudent spending" will be the main target area for a Havelock North business leader if she is elected to the Hastings District Council this year.
Adrienne Pierce is the president of the Havelock North Business Association and has decided to contest the council elections in October.
Mrs Pierce is the founder of Smart, a business which offers phone, administration, financial and payroll services to other businesses. The election would be her first time contesting a seat on a council.
"I know it sounds cliché but I do believe I can make a difference if I am elected on to the council," she said.
"I have been involved in a lot of work with the council already through the business association and I think I have something to offer, especially from a business point of view."
Mrs Pierce said prudent spending and fiscal responsibility would be at the top of her priorities as a councillor, along with efforts to improve communication with the public.
"I understand we are spending $7 million on upgrading the civic centre in Hastings and that is a lot of ratepayer money.
"I just want to be sure that the use of these funds is what the ratepayer wants."
Mrs Pierce said she was involved "day to day" with organisations such as the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce, Business Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay Tourism and the Te Mata Park Trust, to name a few.
"Couldn't we better spend the $7 million across these entities?"
There were also many businesses in Hastings' CBD which needed support as they were incurring costs upgrading to meet building code standards to withstand earthquakes.
Mrs Pierce said although she was from Havelock North she would be committed to working for Hastings district. She supported amalgamation and was not worried about contesting another election in 2014, if a plan to merge Hawke's Bay councils went ahead.
"There are a lot of big decisions to be made over the coming years. Amalgamation is one of them and I believe Hastings, Napier and Hawke's Bay regional councils should get around the table and talk about it, before government steps in and makes it happen, like it did with Auckland."
The Ruataniwha water storage project was another major issue squarely on the table of councils in the region.
"As a business owner I am keen on the economic benefits and jobs which could come from the project. But also we need to understand the environmental impact."