Keeping rates down is the highest Horizons Regional Council priority for most Whanganui people, councillor David Cotton says.

He anticipated six years as Whanganui representative when he stood three years ago. He's decided to stand again, because he is enjoying the work.

He and fellow candidate Jeremy Austin are both standing on a rates restraint ticket.

Mr Cotton found the role was a lot more work than he anticipated. It took up two and a half days of his week, driving his personal life into the weekends.

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The pay is $45,000 a year, with 70 cents a kilometre for vehicle use after the first 30 kilometres in a day. It meant Mr Cotton's annual income dropped by about $100,000 a year.

But he's proud of the massive amount of work Horizons does, and he'd like to see it entering into more partnerships to get even more done.