Whanganui District Council candidate Phillip "Bear" Reweti believes the council needs "a worker's voice".

That's why he's standing for council in the October 8 local government elections. He is backed by the Meatworkers' Union, of which he is a member.

"Too many workers see council as something that's separate from their lives, but it shouldn't be like that," Mr Reweti said.

He has lived in Whanganui for 58 years and has raised nine children here.

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"As a meat worker at Imlay for many years I've seen things that need to change. Our whanau depend on this city being a good place to live and work."

Mr Reweti said it is not acceptable that there are people in Whanganui who are living in garages or on the street.

"And yet all these state houses are being sold - it's not right."