Rob Kent is seeking a third term as councillor as well as running again for mayor in the local elections.

"The thing that I've achieved that I'm most pleased about is the council staff now actually have a financial focus that they didn't have before. Basically, they thought they could get away with anything," Kent said.

Kent has served two terms on Rotorua District Council but moving to a farm in Ongaonga, Hawke's Bay hasn't quelled his desire to stay on council. In fact he's also running for mayor.

"If you're mayor you have to live in the town," he said. "It's a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job. There's no question, if I was elected mayor I'd be back here within the week."


Top of Kent's priority list - if elected - is to create a plan for dealing with the council's growing debt.

"Once we've got that plan, we're going to have to start making the operation of the council efficient because it's not at the moment."

After finances, Kent told Local Focus the next "big priority" is to tackle the CBD, followed by housing the homeless.

"Putting them up in motels is not a solution," he said, highlighting the effect that has on the local tourism industry.

"For what they've spent on motels they could have probably built a marae and actually put them there."

And when it comes to diversity on the council, Kent disagreed with many candidates, saying there's currently "a good mix".

"It's actually been working quite well … with one or two, shall we say, whose hearts aren't in it."

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