As the nominations for the mayoral and councillor positions on the Hastings District Council closed yesterday one man who hasn't even reached his 20s is hoping to win the race.
As of noon yesterday 19-year-old Waitawhara Tupaea was the last to throw his hat in the mayoral ring, joining acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst, acting deputy mayor Simon Nixon, councillor Bayden Barber, Crownthorpe's Stuart Perry and Allister Tosh.
Mr Tupaea, who is also running to be a councillor, said he was driven to nominate himself as he wanted to challenge the current political paradigm.
"Politics are supposed to look at the world in an inter-related system and the problem with this paradigm is that it is exacerbated by an extreme economic view."
The former Karamu High School student said youth would be in on his side but he refused to be defined by his age.
Mr Tupaea said he had a different personal experience to those 40 years his senior and age didn't reflect one's intelligence and political thinking.
He worked alongside Greens candidate Chris Perley at this month's general election and has been passionate and interested in politics since primary school.
"I believe in values and this is prominent in the millennial view of politics. We need to re centre these values of governing bodies to reflect a more traditional Maori view and look to the root cause."
If selected as mayor or councillor he wants to see integrated green spaces, which he said create an equilibrium in terms of the environment.
"We need to build resilience in the environment so that crises which previously occurred such as the water don't happen again."
The last to throw their hat in the ring for the councillor position to join Mr Tupaea were Eileen Lawson, Wendy Schollum and Hawke's Bay Today columnist Bruce Bisset.
They join Rizwaana Latiff, Jason Whaitiri and Rion Roben, who announced their intention at an earlier date.
Mrs Lawson, who is chairwoman of the Heretaunga Women's Centre, was looking forward to the challenge.
"I decided to put my name forward as I have the experience to be able to make a difference. I am passionate about the district and how we can work together to make it a place for everybody."
Mrs Lawson is also interested in the environmental issues and is keen to look at balancing everything up so no one is disadvantaged.
Mr Bisset said he was also a strong voice for the environment and believed the Hastings District was at a critical point.
"We are at a critical point in development and looking forward we have considerable constraints around water and productive farmland. I am concerned with ensuring that as much of the best land is retained for farming rather than housing."
He said he has had experience on council before in Auckland so had the knowledge and skills to contribute to robust discussion around what is the best way forward for the district to grow.
"Sometimes change is not as much about young and fresh as being older and experienced enough to know what needs doing," Mr Bisset said.
Voters in the Hastings/Havelock North Ward would start receiving ballot papers in the week beginning November 2, and these would contain two voting sections - one for the ward and one for mayor. Those throughout the rest of the district would get a ballot paper with one voting section for the mayor only.