An education advocate, a community lawyer and community volunteer are the latest candidates to join the race for a seat on the Hamilton City Council.

Maxine van Oosten, Sarah Thomson and Shanti Ralm have all put up their hands wanting to seek a change from the status quo.

Ms van Oosten ran in the HCC by-election last year, and has decided to run again, while calling out what she says is the council's CEO "excessive $440,000 salary".

"I've just spent the last year fighting a successful campaign alongside teachers, so they can get a fair pay rise — I think it's outrageous that Hamilton ratepayers have to foot the bill for a CEO who's paid almost as much as our Prime Minister," said Ms van Oosten

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She will stand for a seat on Hamilton's East Ward, saying the support received during the by-election inspired her to try again.

"This time more people will have longer to get to know me and what I stand for. I have no tolerance for extravagance with ratepayer money and I know how to get value for money," she said.

An education advocate and long-term Hamilton East resident, Ms van Oosten has 20 years' experience in the finance sector and a further 14 years as an advocate for workers through the Hamilton union movement. She spent her secondary school years at Fraser High and has lived in Hamilton East for 27 years.

She works as an advocate for teachers and education staff at NZEI in Hamilton.

Sarah Thomson said it is a crucial time for council, with housing affordability and climate change two growing issues. Photo / Supplied
Sarah Thomson said it is a crucial time for council, with housing affordability and climate change two growing issues. Photo / Supplied

Sarah Thomson, 28, is known as the Waikato law student who took the Government to court over climate change in 2017.

She grew up in Hamilton and lived here for 26 years. She attended Fairfield College and studied at the University of Waikato.

She spent the last couple of years working in Auckland in both commercial law and community law.

She says that housing affordability is one of the key challenges for the future council.

"While the council can't solve housing alone, there's still a lot it can do, and I would like to see Hamilton create a long-term housing plan in collaboration with the community," Ms Thomson said.

She said there has been a surge in youth representation as younger people are understanding the effects the decisions of local government are having on the community.

"We are inheriting an uncertain future for both ourselves and our kids, and this is something we can do to try steer that future in a better direction. I also think that we are seeing more inspiring young politicians, like MP Chlöe Swarbrick, who have proven to be extremely effective and are helping to pave the way for others."

Ms Thomson also said she is also not to be confused with another Sarah Thompson, who as a parliamentry petition to "end special treatment of Māori."

She said she is in favour of continued Māori representation around the council table.

Shanti Ralm said she will bring a more diverse voice to the council table. Photo / Supplied
Shanti Ralm said she will bring a more diverse voice to the council table. Photo / Supplied

Shanti Ralm, is a Hamilton resident who came to the city from India.

She has volunteered at the Western Community Centre since 2001, while also volunteering at the Age Concern centre and Red Cross.

Ms Ralm said she can make a difference on the council table by bring a more diverse voice.

"We are multicultural society. I can represent my community. It is vital for the up and coming generation. We are becoming very cultural and for me that is very important," Ms Ralm said.