A candidate for Hastings District Council says he is running on a platform of "creativity, innovation and common sense".

Keith Newman, who will be standing in the Heretaunga Ward, said he is a passionate community advocate, founding member of coastal protection group Walking on Water and a trustee of the Cape Coast Arts and Heritage Trust.

"We're in the midst of a wave of positive change; business is booming, house prices are rocketing, the inner city is being revitalised but there are unintended consequences of becoming more prosperous: higher rents, unemployment, escalating crime and growing poverty."

He said how those issued are balanced will define Hastings as a city.


"Some of the rigid frameworks and attitudes of the past have passed their use-by date and need overhauling if we're to effectively engage with the current tidal wave of technological, environmental and social change."

He said local authorities tend to be known for what they oppose, rather than what they support, as well as placing reports, box ticking, silo thinking and complex processes ahead of people and fresh ideas.

He said over his decade in Hawke's Bay he had talked to scores of businesses, growers and experts across a range of fields to write about environmental and climate change challenges, local politics, the changing workplace, modern farming practices and local history.

"I know how to sift through mind-numbing documents, unpack technical details and spot hidden agendas.

"My specialty is making complex things simple."

He said Hastings District Council needs to have a more enabling culture, encouraging innovation, rather than being known as a difficult council to deal with for gaining building and other consents.

"It's time for a new kind of conversation that starts by asking, 'how can we help?'," Newman said.