Napier City Council Nelson Park Ward hopeful Api Tapine's motivation to stand in the Local Elections came from the community, rather than any ambition to be a politician.
He works "in the heart of the ward" as regional learning co-ordinator at EIT Maraenui and says: "The community who supports me in this role have called on me to represent them at the council table.
"I have been working in our ward on issues and projects. A move to the council table will enable more effective representation for all our residents."
With the endorsement of his employer, his family and friends, Mr Tapine thought long and hard before accepting the challenge, a decision welcomed by Maxine Boag, who is seeking her third term as one of the ward's two councillors and who was excited about what they could achieve working together.
"Cr Boag and I have already teamed up in several community projects in the ward", he says.
Mr Tapine, who describes himself as "a people person", has been actively involved in issues that affect the region and the city in the three years he has been working in Maraenui.
Working at the "frontline of the housing crisis", he has been involved with groups who assist the homeless, he helped mobilise the local "No to Amalgamation" campaign and has made submissions to council on behalf of various groups he works with.
With a Bachelor of Business, his work experience includes being owner of a small business, contract management, customer service and sales, employment brokering and facilitating youth and adult education.
Proudly Māori, of Kahungunu descent, a father and grandfather, he is chairman of his marae, Te Reinga, inland from Wairoa and has years of voluntary service including governance on numerous charitable trusts around Hawke's Bay.