Around the country, mayors elected in October 2016 are reaching the half-way point in their three-year terms.

Local Focus video journalist Alexander Robertson spoke with Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen.

Feyen and his council have some big decisions to make for the future of the community.

"One of the biggest challenges facing this region is to get some certainty around our roading network around Levin. We need to improve on our consultation".

Advertisement

The district's demographic is changing fast with retirees moving to the region from major cities around the country.

"The employment around elder care is massive, so that gives opportunities to the Horowhenua Learning Centre to provide courses for the types of industry", Feyen said.

When we asked the mayor what he and his council got wrong last year he said that was a difficult one.

"There were some public spats obviously in some relation to choice of deputy mayor and the like, to what I call a big grey area in legislation," he said.

"I think that some of the articles that were put into the newspaper by councillors might not have been too helpful.

"You know you can only really carry on working in a positive way and try and show by example, I don't get drawn into personality issues.

"I just want to be seen as a local body politician that looks at the issues.

"I literally can't go anywhere in the district without people stopping me and saying 'keep your chin, up you're on the right track and we support you'.

"I don't know how else to answer that question it's bloody tough, it really is tough," Feyen said.

The mayor was delighted Winston Peters chose to go with Labour after the General Election, though he's waiting on a call from the new Local Government Minister.

"People wanted change, we've got to be doing things that are best for the most not for the few", Feyen said.

The mayor said he has written a very long letter to the Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta asking for her assistance in the region.

"I haven't heard anything back so Nanaia, if you're looking at that, please get back to me and give me a little bit of time, that would be wonderful because I think it will even further progress our region", Feyen said.

Made with funding from