Randhir Dahya was among the "also rans" in the 2013 election which ended one of the longest council tenures in the city's history.

But now he's back, this time with his eyes on the mayoral chain.

Mr Dahya debuted on council 1992, not buy a whisker but by a whopping margin. He eschews bankrolling big advertising campaigns, relying on his community profile more than anything to get the attention of the voters.

Indian born but a resident of Whanganui from the age of four, he ran three businesses in the city before retiring. And it was in retirement that he decided to give back to the community by standing for council.

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He eventually served under three mayors, was a councillor for 21 years and deputy mayor under the late Chas Poynter from 2001-04.

"I've been the highest polling candidate in five of those elections. I believe I've done my apprenticeship and am well qualified to take on the role of mayor," he said.

"I'm passionate about Wanganui and I know that being mayor will give me more influence and open many more doors for the betterment of the district."

Mr Dahya refuses to give his age; he says people misconstrue age as a weakness when he believes it's a strength.

He said key issues for him include the Wakefield St overbridge, the wastewater treatment plant and the growing number of empty shops in the Avenue.

He said the overbridge was vital for the Whanganui East community and had to remain open.

"The wastewater plant cannot be ignored but it must progress to a satisfactory conclusion that's affordable for the community," he said.

"And I'll look at ways of rejuvenating the central city and work with existing programmes so visitors have an enjoyable experience as well as encouraging new businesses to our central city."

Mr Dahya said long council service gave him considerable "intellectual knowledge" of the city and district.

"As mayor I'll reassure all businesses and industries that Whanganui welcomes them and that this is the best place to live and work. The council will work with you for the benefit of the community as a whole."

He said business acumen was a vital necessity at council and coupled with his years at council table believed it gave him the skill set to move the Whanganui district forward.