Nicola Patrick has put her hand up to be one of the two Whanganui representatives on Horizons Regional Council.

Making her announcement yesterday, Ms Patrick said the time was right for her to make a commitment because she had moved back to Whanganui permanently after spending the last three years in Taranaki.

"I did intend to stand for the Wanganui District Council at the last elections but we shifted to Taranaki and it never got to the point where I put a nomination in," she said.

Ms Patrick said she had three major issues she would bring to the campaign - and top of the list was securing healthy waterways.

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"There is so much interest in this across the country - it's a critical issue," she said.

"Then it's local jobs. I'm really interested in what role Horizons can play in securing local jobs and how it makes its own procurement decisions.

"I've worked with councils across the country and I've seen some of them put lowest price before everything else, but that sort of policy doesn't consider the secondary benefits for the community."

And Ms Patrick said she wants to see the council bring a much broader approach to its decision-making with a focus on sustainability, especially in terms of economic, environmental and social health.

"The council needs to be looking well beyond its long-term plan targets and consider impacts 50 to 100 years out," she said.

The 43-year-old mother of two young boys, Ms Patrick holds a science degree and a journalism diploma. She has worked mainly in the environmental management field with the Department of Conservation and with global engineering company AECOM, both here and in Australia.

"The environment is a strong part of me. We moved from the Golden Bay area to Whanganui when I was about 10, but growing up in Golden Bay influenced me a great deal, especially the importance of a healthy environment."

She is "excited" about the upcoming election and the opportunity it offers. If elected, she said she would reduce her paid working hours so she could devote what time was necessary to fulfil her council role.

Earlier this week, current Whanganui representatives David Cotton and Rod Pearce said they were undecided whether their hats would be in the ring for a return to Horizons.

Nominations open on July 15 and close on August 1, with the elections on October 8.