Doing something meaningful for her community is a major reason behind Ngaire Ellwood's decision to put her name forward as a candidate for the Whanganui District Health Board.
Ms Ellwood said the health board particularly interested her because, like most locals, her family has found ourselves in need of various health services over the years.
"I believe it's essential these services are sustainable, affordable and available for absolutely everyone. In my view community wellbeing is extremely important," she said.
A mother of four and grandmother of 14, half of whom live in Whanganui, she said she was interested in being part of the process that makes good quality local health services available to the community.
"I'm interested to see effective governance, health care efficiency and excellent front line care. With everything there is always room for improvement and believe I would contribute well as part of the board. If elected I will work to ensure the board remains fully focused on quality planning to provide an effective level of healthcare."
While this is Ms Ellwood's first tilt at a health board seat she has served as a member of a community board for six years, three of those as deputy chairman. She was a local government employee for about 15 years and served on the board of trustees of two schools over the years.
She said most of her working life has been spent as a personal assistant but she had also worked as an administrator for the NZ Blood Service and at Arohanui Hospice.
"I'm a down-to-earth hard worker who calls a spade a spade and believes the best possible health services should be available to everyone - young, old, rich, poor, important and ordinary people like myself. I believe I can help to deliver this," Ms Ellwood said.