Why be mayor? There's many reasons why, says Zane Cozens.
The Tūrangi businessman, co-owner of Bayleys Tūrangi and former Taupō district councillor, says he wants to take the Taupō district on "a refreshed journey" and reconnect the community and the Taupō District Council.
"There's been district-wide issues in the last six months where people feel that their voice isn't involved. I want to re-engage the community with its council and help the communities drive positive change for the district. We need to focus on our priorities."
Mr Cozens feels there have been issues in the district over the past year where people haven't felt that they've been involved. He cites lack of communication with the Kinloch community over the plans for its foreshore, consultation over Taupō's new traffic lights and the new council building project.
He doesn't believe the consultation process for the council building was as robust as it could have been and says that affects the quality of the decisions made. He believes the council should have opted to rent.
"There will always be unhappy people within the community, you're never going to make the right choice 100 per cent of the time. They [council] believe that they made the decision on the number of submissions in favour of the proposed site but when you look at the number of submissions they actually didn't so I think that's why they suffered a backlash from the community."
Mr Cozens, 52, says the Taupō district faces challenges, especially in infrastructure, finance, and key industries like tourism, accommodation and retail. Taupō is coming under great pressure from competing regions and the challenge is to adapt, remain nimble and lead the pack.
One overlooked issue is safety, Mr Cozens believes. He says among older people particularly there are challenges around housing, transport and connection to communities.
At the other end, retaining youth in the district is also a difficulty. He wants to create opportunities so that youth can travel or study and then return to the area to set up businesses.
During his four years as a Tūrangi-Tongariro councillor Mr Cozens lists his achievements as securing an economic review for Tūrangi and conducting a study of similar-size communities Gore and Twizel to see which successes could be replicated locally. He was involved with Tūrangi Christmas in the Park, which later won a national award and also worked with Go Tongariro and Enterprise Great Lake Taupō on the Tūrangi Business Mentoring Workshops, a business mentoring scheme which was well-received and attended.
While Mr Cozens was first elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, he resigned less than a year into his second term, saying he felt Tūrangi was being continually overlooked and he was exhausted by "continually throwing [my] energy and common sense into a void".
He now says he resigned because he felt the council wasn't functioning in the most proactive manner.
"I felt it in the best interests at the time for my community that I vacate my seat. It was done so with the best of intentions."
But he's ready to go back.
"I feel I can make a difference from a leadership point of view.
"I believe everyone has value, everyone has a voice and I encourage other people's talents, to be the best they can be ... I believe in setting a higher standard and putting the tools in place to reach that."
While he's busy, Mr Cozens says if elected, he will take time out from his real estate business to be a full-time mayor.
"So many people think that the mayoral role is solely symbolic.
"In actuality, it is so much more.
"A mayor will make or break a council. If they have vision, drive and good leadership skills they can inspire the councillors to design the path for success that the CEO must implement."
Mr Cozens acknowledges that he has been described as "divisive" and that he has been critical of council chief executive Gareth Green in the past but says he has moved on to wanting people to work together positively.
That includes an undertaking that he would be able to work constructively with Mr Green for the benefit of the district.
"I'm quite passionate but my passion comes from a good place.
"I don't want negativity. We're never going to agree on everything but it's how we approach each other that will get things done."
Mr Cozens' husband John Mack is also running for council, in the Tūrangi-Tongariro ward, but Mr Cozens says if both are successfully elected, it would not create an issue and he and Mr Mack have quite different views.
"I probably have less in common with John than I do with other councillors.
"You've got to have a point of difference, you can't always agree and it's quite good because he makes me think about things from different angles."
While Mr Cozens works in Tūrangi and lives in Motuoapa he says he has strong connections with the rest of the district.
"The beauty of being in Tūrangi is it allows me a whole lot of breadth of connections district-wide."