Shannon man Robert Ketu is up for the challenge of being the first visually impaired local body politician in New Zealand history.

The 59-year-old did not see his impairment as affecting his ability to represent his
community and iwi. In fact, he refers to his condition as a "special ability".

"I can hear things many sighted people can't. That's why I refer to my vision impairment as a special ability," he said.

He saw his new role as Horowhenua District Councillor as just another challenge to navigate "just like many sighted people have to do with any issue" and in no