Melanie Petrowski's run for Hastings District Council started with a bang. Literally.
Petrowski, who is running in the Flaxmere Ward, said in July 2018, a car crashed into her house and took out two large gas bottles.
"If my flatmate's car didn't take most of the impact and if I hadn't turned off the gas 20 minutes beforehand, there could've been three dead bodies in the middle of my lounge or five people dead (or more) if my house had blown up."
She said she had been able to see the incident coming for years.
"I grew up in Flaxmere, went away in 1994 and returned in 2015 to live and study. I noticed the streets had become unsafe.
"Nearly every night I hear cars speeding and loud screeches from tyres, with smoke billowing down the street and massive black marks left on the roads as evidence.
"I used to call the police three to four times a week but have since given up.
"Many car accidents have occurred over the years, damaging property, and nearly killing people."
She said she had struggled to access support from both police and council following the incident.
"I asked to see the mayor about roading and I was told no.
"I did eventually have a meeting with council to no avail.
"Since then there has been more public meetings with police and council about speeding cars, reckless driving and the safety of our children and nothing has been done."
She said community has to initiate change.
"The people of Paharakeke (Flaxmere), and no doubt Hastings and Napier as well, are fed up.
"So I'm initiating change by running for council."
She said while road safety is her main reason for running for council, she also cares about water; land, infrastructure, building and affordable housing; children and youth; and social and community development.
Currently Petrowski has several casual jobs, working with people across all age groups including pre-school and disabled children; adults at hospital, and in mental health; and elderly dementia patients, as well as working in security.