Not surprisingly there has been a fair bit of talk recently around local body elections.
Enrolment packs have arrived in most people's mail boxes. It's time to start thinking about who you want to represent your community.
It's important and the more people that vote the better.
If you don't vote don't moan about who gets elected. This is your chance to make a difference,
There has also been talk recently that Maori and Pacific Islanders are not well represented on councils around the country.
That may be true, however, if you want to have your say and contribute to the way your community is run, no matter where you are from, you have to do the hard work.
You have to put your hand up, campaign, tell voters what you think you can contribute to council.
There's no point in sitting back saying it's not fair there should be more councillors representing a certain part of the community.
Social media has made councillors more accountable to the public.
On the other hand it has also meant that some people get a lashing — some of it pretty nasty.
We need to remember that they are people just like you and me and nasty comments on social don't help anyone.
I've never been on a council but I imagine it entails a lot of hard work. Especially these days - ratepayers want to know what their rates are spent on.
They want to know how councillors are representing them.
It's much more than just turning up to meetings, councillors make decisions that affect us all.
Nominations for this year's elections close at noon on August 16 and I imagine there will be more candidates putting their hands up before then.
We get the chance to vote on October 12. Encourage your younger family members to vote.
We need people that know what's happening in our region, that have a vision for the future and are not afraid to stand up and fight for it — that includes sorting out recycling and water — for a start.