Tourism operator Rory Smith is back for another bid to get onto the Whanganui District Council.

"I lose count of the number of times but who's counting. At the very least the voters will give me 10 out of 10 for trying," Mr Smith said.

He said he motivated by the fact he saw work still to be done.

"I've been around the traps for a long time and I know the job is usually one step forward and two back at times. But the whole nature of the regions now is about collaboration or else we die."

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That looms as a major election plank for him this year.

He said Government had made it plain that through its regional growth strategy involving Manawatu "that this is our opportunity. Seize it or we'll die".

"I believe there are real opportunities to be had for Whanganui. With regards to tourism we could easily team with Ruapehu in international marketing but at a local level probably go at it on our own.

"In an economic basis why can't Whanganui and Palmerston North go to Auckland with a shared show to bring business to this region? If that works we're all going to win one way or another."

Mr Smith said while some had clear ideas of what needed to be done, there was large portion of the population on fixed or low incomes who didn't have an opinion on those matters.

"We have to find a way to filter any gains down to those people almost immediately otherwise the rates will keep going up, people's ability to pay is going to become harder and it will spiral downwards."

He said his business (he owns Tamara Backpackers) would not succeed without collaboration: "I've seen how it works and why it's so important."

Mr Smith missed a seat by about 700 votes in 2013 but took time to get involved with the Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the board of Visit Whanganui and has been involved with the Vintage Weekend.

"I've been involved often enough and long enough to know what's required."