A Hastings lawyer vying for the mayoralty wants to recreate the "prosperity and security" he experienced while growing up in the district.
"It's the right time," Guy Wellwood said when he announced his intention to stand.
He said he would bring a new leadership style, foster positive relationships between Hastings District Council and wider Hawke's Bay, while helping to improve Hastings' key features.
"We've got to get away from rivalling Napier," he said. "I think Hastings is a great place, a wonderful place to live and work."
Mr Wellwood's life began in Christchurch before moving with his family to Hastings at age six where he grew up in a "happy period of prosperity and security".
His legal career began in Auckland before moving back to Hastings with his wife in 1980.
For 10 years Mr Wellwood practised with Hastings law firm Kelly McNeill before merging with Langley Twigg where he practises property and commercial law today.
Spending 36 years in the district, the lawyer has had ample time to dabble in a variety of community services, including chairing Hastings SPCA, involvement with Hastings Chamber of Commerce and a Maori incorporation, Tataraakina.
He was also executive assistant to the minister of agriculture and trade for two years in the early 2000s and he played a "pivotal" role in the deregulation of the pipfruit industry and the formation of Fonterra and the NZ/Singapore closer economic partnership that led to international trade agreements.
Interested in the Hastings-Havelock ward, the mayoral candidate also has his sights set on drawing Flaxmere and Camberly into the spotlight. "Flaxmere is about to take off."
The property lawyer said the suburb had a number of advantages.
"I want to see all Hastings people, not just a privileged few, benefiting from council proposals.
"There is more to be said for leaving some money in the hands of ratepayers," he said, rather than assuming the council knows best what to do with that money.
Mr Wellwood is determined to stimulate conversation within the community as well as "cranking up the rail system", adding it was a good community linker.
Despite supporting amalgamation, in line with the council, Mr Wellwood believed the council could have handled the debate better.
The only way up was change, "not a constant reminder of the negative years under the failed amalgamation campaign that ended up driving division within the council, our district and our region".
"Hastings needs a mayor who is not divisive but one who can build a consensus on important issues so all councillors can work together, not against each other. And someone who can also work positively alongside other mayors, chairs and MPs for Hawke's Bay."
He enjoys daily walks, a spot of tennis and has a keen interest in modern military. To keep up with Mr Wellwood's campaign keep an eye out for his website going live soon.
A new leadership style coupled with community service experience and work would allow him to "bring people together in the right way".
Mr Wellwood said the district had strengths that underpinned the region's economic drivers, "it is up to us to make the most of them".