Local marketing man Damon Harvey will run for Hastings District Council, saying he will bring "positive action" to local body politics if elected.
Flaxmere born and raised, the political newcomer said he would focus on issues that matter most to people in the Hastings community, by bringing new ideas, energy and enthusiasm to the council table.
As a father, small business owner and sports advocate Mr Harvey said it was time for positive action to make Hastings the number one provincial city.
"I'm considerably younger than most of the current councillors, some who have been there for longer than 12 years," he said.
"It's time to roll up my sleeves and take action to provide greater support to local businesses, improve the health and wellbeing of Hastings people and create a more vibrant and safer city."
A founding director of Attn marketing pr! and publisher of The Profit business magazine, he said the council should "jump hoops to support local businesses" rather than putting hurdles in the way.
"We need to grow the heart of Hastings and put locals first," Mr Harvey said. "I'm going to push strongly for a 'local business first policy' when it comes to the council tendering out its services.
"We need to be looking at ways of growing local businesses, which will create more jobs for locals and generate a more vibrant community."
If elected, he would bring not only a strong business background to the role, but also regional governance experience. He said his roles as Sport Hawke's Bay chairman and co-chair of the Jarrod Cunningham Youth Sport Trust and the Paora Winitana & Paul Henare Basketball Academy have allowed him to connect into the community.
"These organisations are making a positive difference to the youth of Hastings and [the work] has given me firsthand experience and knowledge of what our youth need," he said.
"I also offer a younger, family-orientated perspective to the council table. We have five daughters who call Hastings home and this keeps me in tune with the needs of the district's young people."
Mr Harvey said he was a strong believer in the benefits of sport and recreation creating stronger community spirit and pride.
"If we show this passion on the sport fields around Hastings, we can surely do it in business as well as other parts of life in our communities," he said.
Mr Harvey says if he is elected, he will campaign for greater development of the jewel in Hawke's Bay's tourism crown, Te Mata Peak, and connect it with Havelock North and Hastings CBDs as well, committing to a major events strategy.
"Te Mata Peak is rated one of the New Zealand's top tourism attractions, yet its potential is not fully realised," he said
He said safer communities would also be at the top of his priority list, as would be "sorting out the Hastings CBD".
Mr Harvey will be standing for the Hastings & Havelock North Ward at this year's local body elections to be held on October 8.