Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers is seeking a seventh term in public office and is among those handing in their nomination forms before the deadline on Friday.
Ms Bowers has worked as deputy mayor for 12 years (four terms) and will stand for election in the new Hastings/Havelock North Ward of the Hastings District Council.
She was keen to see Havelock North and Hastings achieve more for ratepayers by working together: "Together we can become a far stronger united urban community delivering greater economic and social benefits for the whole district.
"I want to use my experience and skills to ensure that the interests of Havelock North and Hastings are well represented, as local government reorganisation is likely to be a key issue during 2014 and the next eighteen months will be critical," Ms Bowers said.
A referendum was likely to be the measure to decide whether Hawke's Bay's councils were merged, "... but there is a huge amount of work to be done to ensure we are strongly positioned to take advantage of any new structure".
Ms Bowers has been the driving force in several major projects for the Hastings district. She successfully led negotiation for Hastings to host the Horse of the Year Show for 15 years, expanded the iWay network and the Civic Square project as a key driver in bringing about social change.
"The unveiling of the Pou has shown us that Hastings can lead the way in developing a meaningful and sincere relationship between Maori and Pakeha.
"I also want to encourage Hastings District Council to take a focused approach to economic and social development. Youth Futures is an excellent example of a partnership between council, the business community, Government agencies, secondary schools and training organisations which has huge positive potential."
Ms Bowers, who heads a number of committees and groups under the council, was appointed a director of the Hawke's Bay Opera House Ltd and Horse of the Year (Hawke's Bay) Ltd. Outside the council, she was chairman of Creative Hastings, the organisation which ran the Community Art Gallery in Russell St, and the organiser of community events including the Blossom Festival, Summer in the Park and Live after Five concerts at the Opera House.