Dean Whaanga has launched his campaign for the Wairoa seat on the regional council, standing on a platform of representation, communication and transparency.
Having returned to Mahia after more than 20 years in the armed services followed by a stint in the foreign services - where he met his wife - Mr Whaanga is now ready to serve his district, one he said was not being served well by the regional council.
"I felt that Wairoa was suffering a decline," he said.
Mr Whaanga said he would like to think that if he was elected he would bring representation and communication to the people of Wairoa, and by doing so transparency would follow.
"[People here] want to feel that they are represented, that they do have a voice," he said.
"And from my perspective, they will have a voice if they feel they don't have it now."
He said accessibility to their representative was equally as important to the people in Wairoa.
"I am really fortunate I live in Mahia. I drive and work in Wairoa and I am on a main street, so I am easily accessible, people see me every day," he said.
"I am also on a lot of boards and treasure a number of different clubs, so people know me well. They feel they can talk to me they talk to me about their concerns."
He said through representation and communication came transparency - something he believed the people in the Wairoa district couldn't see at the moment.
"They don't know what that means," he said.
He said this was a little bit unfair "especially when they are told in January every year that if you don't pay your bill by the 31st you are going to get a 10 per cent penalty".
"It irks them when you are in a really low socio-economic environment, which these people are," he said.
Mr Whaanga said he felt comfortable going into the elections because the people of Wairoa knew who he was.
"They know me well, they know I am someone who will stick by my word to represent them as best I can," he said.
"They know, too, that there are restraints when you get into council and there are things we must be mindful of.
"But they are concerned about the area, they don't know how to go about it. I think part of that is because by and large they are not really sure how the regional council actually works in the region."
This was something he said he would like to change.