Hero puts his hand up for seat in local government

By Patrick O'Sullivan

With 40 years' community development work under his belt, Jim Morunga has announced his candidacy for Napier City Council so, he says, it can have more effective community representation.

Blind since age 22 after a rugby injury, he has worked as a community representative on numerous Crown-appointed committees and councils.

Mr Morunga has twice been named a Local Hero at the New Zealander of the Year Awards.

His has worked extensively for the sight-impaired and other causes but his recent focus has been on suicide prevention. He was employed as a health worker for seven years for both Mid Central Health and Hawke's Bay District Health Board.

He is currently co-ordinator of the Kia Piki Te Ora programme with Te Kuenga Haurora Ahuriri.

The father of six and grandfather of 11 says he is standing for valuing people and supporting neighbours to make Napier a safe city for all, better communication between the community and local authorities, better use of community facilities such as parks and reserves, to promote family and neighbourhood wellbeing, and improving services.

After spending a decade or more observing how the council performs, Morunga says he and others decided he was well placed to be a community advocate. "I've been encouraged by a good number of people to run," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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