Whanganui District Council candidate Sharon Duff will advocate for better housing if she is elected.

She knows, she says, that housing is Whanganui's biggest problem and a lack of healthy, affordable housing is an escalating concern.

"We don't have enough rental properties, buying a house is hard, and our houses are often damp and cold.

"If I'm elected as a councillor, I will work towards developing a thriving, environmentally-responsible and healthy community."


Duff says healthy homes for all should be an attainable goal that speaks to the very heart of the community.

With a background working with agencies on the provision of emergency housing, insulating homes and advocating for accessible housing, Duff says she has worked on improving Whanganui housing stock for more than 15 years.

"My experience includes brokering the $600,000 deal to insulate the Whanganui District Council pensioner flats at no cost to ratepayers.

"I worked for health and community partners to raise funding, which resulted in $4.8 million being spent on insulation in our region.

"I also worked on the Warm Homes for Elderly New Zealanders project, which led to the Winter Energy Payment now paid to all superannuants as well as other beneficiaries."

Duff says, if she is elected, her experience in forming partnerships and brokering deals will create opportunities for Whanganui to take advantage of the diverse Government housing initiatives and new funding mechanisms for social housing and inner-city development.

"Fostering partnerships with the government will enable us to increase our housing opportunities at no cost to ratepayers," Duff said.

"Whanganui is uniquely blessed with beautiful heritage buildings and it would be amazing if we could restore these buildings and promote inner-city living at the same time."


Duff has held a number of governance roles in education and for many years chaired the Computers in Homes programme.

She has also worked as a health promoter, business development adviser, business owner, student president, counsellor and nurse.

"Another passion for me is heritage plants.

"I love Whanganui's seed and fruit tree projects and I've spent many happy hours giving out heritage tomato plants and Monty's Surprise apple trees at the market."

Duff has raised four children in Whanganui; three still live in the city and she has seven grandchildren, with another on the way.

"I'm passionate about many aspects of Whanganui life and great people who live here."

The candidate says there is plenty to celebrate with Whanganui's art and sporting facilities and it is important to support those things while addressing the areas that need improvement.