Harding wants to ignite passion

By Zaryd Wilson

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Whanganui musician Daniel Harding is running for council.
Whanganui musician Daniel Harding is running for council.

The latest candidate for the Whanganui District Council decided to put his name on the ballot after a dream.

Daniel Harding has announced he will be standing for Whanganui District Council in October's elections.

A musician, Mr Harding won best male pop artist at the 2014 LA Music Awards before releasing his debut EP, Melodic Emotions, last year.

In the past Mr Harding has been a music teacher at UCOL and set up the Give a Little Give a Lot Charitable Trust which initially raised money for the Christchurch Earthquake relief.

Mr Harding took an interest in local politics at the 2013 election and a recent dream about being in the debating chamber convinced him now was the time to stand.
"I was like, I could see me doing this."

Mr Harding wants to encourage people to act on Whanganui's opportunities.

"My whole slogan is 'ignite the passion'. I'm really passionate about this town," he said.
"My big thing is economic development. People want jobs but are not wanting to put themselves in the vulnerable place of creating jobs."

The 30-year-old said the beach and heritage buildings were "massive opportunities" for the city which were currently under-utilised.

Running heritage tours was one opportunity the city should be taking and he supported the idea of a ferry between Whanganui and the South Island.

He also said Whanganui needed neighbourhood awards to celebrate the people and organisations in the town.

"I believe the council can partner in it. It's council's job to market Whanganui in the correct way," Mr Harding said.

"I guess there is a lot of things we could be doing that we are not doing. For me, nothing is impossible. It's just about finding ways around it."

Whanganui people wanted councillors to represent them without hidden agendas.
Some candidates were too focused on single issues such as the wastewater treatment plant, he said.

"Okay, that gets fixed. Then what do you stand for? We are more than just a wastewater treatment plant."

Mr Harding said regardless of election he would continue to support initiatives in the city.
"If it doesn't work out I'll do something else. If people think somebody else can do a better job then that's okay. I just want to represent Whanganui the best I can."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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