Fourteen years after he first moved to Hawke's Bay, and 10 years after he made a stab at securing a seat in the Hastings District Council chambers, Hastings resident Bruce Bisset is giving it another go.

He's one of six candidates standing as a council candidate for the upcoming Hastings/Havelock North ward byelection and said he brought political experience as well as the ability to think strategically.

A resident of Waiheke Island before his move to the Bay, Mr Bisset spent three terms on the local community board, the last as its chairman, amid a time of political turmoil following the supercity amalgamation.

Read more: Hastings mayoral race heats up
Hastings mayoral candidate: Simon Nixon
Mayoral candidate profile: Sandra Hazlehurst
Hastings mayoral candidate profile: Bayden Barber

Advertisement

"It was a fraught time and there were lots of issues - island, city, rural and sea - and it was highly politicised so I am used to the cut and thrust."

His family moved to Hawke's Bay so his son could attend the Taikura Rudolf Steiner School and he said he cut short his previous bid to be on council because of ill-health.

"The reason I'm running now is because I think the district is at a bit of a crossroads, mostly in terms of land and water resource issues."

Water was the obvious one to sort out, he said.

"First we have to make sure the resource is adequately protected.

"I would also like a safe, secure, natural drinking water supply with all chemicals removed - when you have water bottlers on the coast pulling up and sending it off, why can't residents have that same kind of supply?"

In terms of land, he said a bigger picture view was needed.

"The reason why Hastings is where it is because it's in the middle of the most productive farm land.

"This was fine when it was a small service town but now it's growing over the very land which caused it to be here in the first place - if it keeps happening we will lose the best land immediately around the city."

He questioned the Heretaunga Plains Urban Development Strategy process, which he said needed to be looked at again.

"There are areas earmarked for future housing that should not have houses on them.

"I would rather go and look at new areas such as Bridge Pa where the soils are quite different in profile.

"It could support a settlement of 10,000 people - let's build it like they did with Flaxmere - we know more about soils today - other options need to be looked at rather than expanding here and there."

A more strategic approach was a strength he felt he could bring to council, as well as an ability to translate technical concepts into layman's terms, such as he had done with his regular column in Hawke's Bay Today for the last 11 years.