From running a radio station to suicide prevention training and growing organic kai - Kiritahi Firmin's restless energy has covered a lot of ground.

Now, aged 47, she said she has "awesome things to share" and is standing for both Whanganui District Council and Whanganui District Health Board for the second time.

In 2016 Firmin was the 20th highest polling candidate.

Since then she's also stood for the Upokongaro School board of trustees.


Firmin's top wishes for Whanganui are good housing, environmental protection for the Whanganui River, a diverse selection of activities, people coming together and better engagement with Māori.

"I'm part of the cultural capability team with ACC. That's what we teach our Pākehā colleagues - how to engage with our people," she said.

Economic development was important, she said, but the community was more important.

"It's stronger when we are together."

Firmin worked for Whanganui's iwi radio station, Awa FM, for 10 years. She wrote a book about women of the Whanganui River, studied graphic design and represented students at Whanganui UCOL.

She started the Kimiora Trust, which supports families troubled by suicide and sexual and domestic violence, and she designed the Wahine Ora programme to uplift Māori women. She's a new member of the Mental Health Foundation's board of trustees and would bring that work to a seat on the district health board.

More recently she has added teaching about sustainability to these causes.

"Mara kai (food gardens) are a huge passion of myself and my husband, and a component of our programme."


Calling herself a business woman, she adds that much of her work has been unpaid.

Firmin has already started an election campaign, on her Facebook page. She's planning to keep it fresh by using her broadcasting skills to put up short video interviews about community issues every Friday, and follow them up with answers.