A desire to promote more engagement between the council and the community, as well as take progressive steps to help Central Hawke's Bay thrive, has prompted Jenny Nelson-Smith to stand for the Ruataniwha ward in the local body elections.
Her connections to the district go back to her mother who was born in Patangata and she said she has "lived, worked, loved and brought up my family in Central Hawke's Bay for nearly 40 years".
"My children were born at the Waipukurau Raymond Maternity Annexe and attended Terrace Primary school where their father, uncles, and aunties were born and attended school.
"My family are buried at Waipawa and Pukehou."
She said her working life in Central Hawke's Bay began in woolsheds, before moving to the then newly built Takapau freezing works.
She has since gone on to run her own businesses, has worked for the government specialising in providing labour market advice to local and central government and iwi, and is now living and working in the district as a multi-platform business solutions consultant.
Her focus is a thriving Central Hawke's Bay with good business opportunities and great jobs, she said.
"Central Hawke's Bay is my home and I want to roll up my sleeves and contribute by providing strong and sound advocacy, focused engagement with Central Hawke's Bay businesses, communities and families, progressing their great ideas."
Ongoing engagement between the council and the community is vital, she added.
"Central Hawke's Bay people have thoughts, views and great ideas that should be heard by the local council.
"I want to introduce and facilitate new ways of engaging and making that an ongoing conversation that will identify the community's priorities and progress them as well as the great ideas that come out of this district."
To support and help grow good business opportunities and great jobs, she said innovative ways to "change it up" are needed to ensure Central Hawke's Bay people come first.