It is local body election year and three-term Horowhenua District councillor Victoria Kaye-Simmons is throwing her hat into the ring for the mayoralty this year.

Born and raised in Levin she said she's seen a lot of great changes recently.

"I support positive change. I have seen a lot done in the district over the past few years and want to push more positive stories such as the growth we have achieved recently, and we've had the completion of big projects like the pool upgrade, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom.

"I think I know what the challenges are that we are facing, and now it is time to find the solutions together," she said.


She's built relationships throughout the district and within council over the past nine years and is hoping that will give her a good foundation for the role as mayor. She's also been involved with many local organisations and attended many events around the district.

"As councillor you need to be available around the clock," she said.

Many people come up to her in the street, or phone or email her with questions about why certain things are or are not happening. She said she does her best to lend a listening ear and tries to find an answer to every question that comes her way.

"I get back to them with an answer and if possible a solution. That is very important."

She said it was clear to her early on as district councillor that ratepayers and residents do not really understand the inner workings of council, and that needs to improve.

She believes she has the right leadership style to be a successful mayor. She brings business experience as she's been in business since she was 21. She is also interested in working towards community wellbeing, making life better for everyone.

"I think I have acquired the skills to bring together all four corners of the district and I have an open-door policy to everyone, regardless of the circumstances.

My staff can tell you I am not The Boss. I am not an 'I'm in charge here' kind of person.
"You must respect people in their roles within the organisation. They all have their jobs to do. My salon staff work as a team. The outcomes of any job almost always involve more than one person.


"Council is a team effort. It is about working together, finding common ground and making compromises to get the right decision for the ratepayers."

The health of Lake Horowhenua has been her passion for a long time. It was her number one motivator when standing for council for the first time in 2010.

"Nothing has changed there and it is about time."

While much has been achieved in the last nine years, she is under no illusion that there is still a lot to be done but passion for her home town and district and the wellbeing of all its residents is dear to her heart.