Solving environmental issues and protecting resources can be achieved if the Hawke's Bay Regional Council regains the public trust it has "squandered", as councillor Tom Belford promises to do if re-elected in September's local body elections.

The BayBuzz publisher has announced his candidacy for the Hastings Ward on the regional council.

Since being elected in 2013, Mr Belford said he had listened to the concerns of Hawke's Bay residents, challenged staff and dug into the issues.

"I've sounded alarms when needed, because I care about our future. A few might call this 'negative', but many, many more, who are eager to make Hawke's Bay better, have urged me on," he said.


Issues included protecting water from exploitation, mounting "the toughest possible challenge" to the Ruataniwha dam, and fighting for transparency in council decision-making.

However, it was the choices made in the next few years, from protecting waterways and aquifers, positioning primary producers to compete in overseas markets and safeguarding key assets, which Mr Belford said would define Hawke's Bay for decades.

If re-elected in the coming local body election, Mr Belford said he would focus on protecting Hawke's Bay's resources and environment.

He also wanted to see Hawke's Bay become an envied region in terms of efficient, planet-safe use of renewable energy, and "getting it right on water".

Mr Belford said that "before we can achieve any of that we must regain the public trust this regional council has squandered".

"As a regional councillor, I've seen the dangers from fixation on one all-consuming project that benefits too few," he said.

"So, if re-elected, my first and ongoing priority will be to rebuild trust and confidence in our regional council."