Bernie Wanden has announced he will stand for Mayor of Horowhenua at the local body elections in October in a bid to end the "dysfunctional leadership of the current Mayor".

Wanden, a current Horowhenua District Councillor, formally announced his intention to stand for Mayor this afternoon, driven by the belief the district needed a change of leadership and an end to "personality politics".

He had long been critical of the current leadership style of incumbent Mayor Michael Feyen.

"I am doing this as I genuinely care about the Horowhenua District and its future," he said.

"It is vital that we have a Governance team that is focussed on the real issues of today and our future and not on the past or personality politics."


Wanden said he had enjoyed his term as councillor and now wanted to serve his community as Mayor.

"It has been a privilege to be a Councillor over the duration of this term and I believe I have contributed positively and constructively to the well being of the District in the various roles that I have been involved in," he said

"As a first term Councillor I have often been asked as to whether I have enjoyed the role, to which I have always replied that I do. I do enjoy the debate and discussion around the real issues that matter like finance, infrastructure, community well being and our future."

"The downside to this has been the political game playing and at times the negative and dysfunctional leadership of the current Mayor. For the sake of the community this has to change."

He said that huge growth in Horowhenua in recent years had presented "both challenges and opportunities".

"The next three years are going to be about our core business. Areas like infrastructure management and finance – making our money go further."

"Our community deserves a Council who understands that and gets on with the job of delivering high levels of service in the most transparent, effective and economical way."

"I believe that my business experience and community involvement over the 35 years that I have lived in the District has given me an excellent basis from which to continue to serve Horowhenua and I want to build and lead a Governance team that does what needs to be done."


"The next few years will be about setting the foundation for an exciting future, and managing and enhancing our assets so that we can achieve that and deal properly with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."