Around the country, mayors elected in October 2016 are reaching the half-way point in their three-year terms.

Local Focus video journalist Alexander Robertson spoke with Rangitikei Mayor Andy Watson.

The mayor was excited about building new community hubs throughout the district, with the first project set to start in Marton.

"[Like a lot of rural New Zealand, we're faced with compliance and the reality is a lot of our buildings are earthquake prone," he said.


"I'll be held accountable to whether I can actually get these things over the line."

Mayor Watson said good things were already happening in Rangitikei. A house mover in Bulls had given the community a home to do up and sell to raise money for a community hub.

"The community's been absolutely fantastic," Watson said. "They've got in behind and said 'how can we help?'."

Watson said farming communities in his region should also be upbeat.

"The reality is that the farming sector has done well historically under a Labour Government," Watson said.

While acknowledging his predominantly National voting region, he said "I take my hat off to the Labour Government and its coalition partners. They've come in and said 'regional growth is important', and they've backed it up with a billion dollars a year.

"We'd like a chunk of that, obviously."

As for the challenges, he said Rangitikei was one of the largest land-based areas in the country which brings multiple difficulties for small towns needing water and waste upgrades.


"Forty-five per cent of our budget is going on roading, that's a huge challenge," Watson said.

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