Whakatāne deputy mayor, Judy Turner has announced she will be running for the mayoralty later this year.
In this video interview, Turner talks to Local Focus about rising rates, housing and infrastructure, Matatā and why tourism looks set to be the next big thing for the region.
"Tourism's been identified as our next big opportunity," Turner said. "Between us in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, we're talking about nearly seven thousand jobs potentially in the next 10 years. The opportunity is scary because we have to invest some money in that."
Referring to the residents affected by floods in Matatā, she said the district council is still waiting on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and central Government to help fund a "retreat" for residents affected by proposals to remove their property rights.
And having previously been an MP for United Future, she declared her political allegiance is neither red or blue, but purple.
"I'm a bit of a political centrist. I guess I would crudely describe myself as economically centre-right and socially centre-left."