Despite describing his current term as the hardest job he's ever had, Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen wants to throw his hat in the ring again for the top job in the local government elections later this year.

However, he said before he made his final decision he wanted to know if people were really awake to the importance of local government and whether there was an appetite to change the current make-up of the council table.

"It's no good just voting for a mayor and expecting things to change if you don't change the composition of the council, and that has clearly shown this last triennium," he said.

While he hasn't put ink on his official bid yet, Feyen says he fully intends to as he still wants to see major changes in the district - including in the way the Horowhenua District Council is run.


Feyen agrees his current term has been tumultuous - he took over as mayor in a shock election result that ousted long-term former mayor Brendan Duffy in 2016 and has struggled to garner the support of the majority of his fellow councillors ever since.

He also says he has no relationship with the council's chief executive David Clapperton, with a "relationship committee" set up to manage communication between the pair.

Early on in his term, a series of outspoken moves by Feyen drew national media attention, particularly his assertion the council building in Levin was not up to earthquake standards.

He wanted Miranui ward councillor Ross Campbell as deputy mayor, but that was overturned by council with Wayne Bishop elected to the post.

He also vocally opposed the council selling off its pensioner housing stock and declined to vote for its Annual or Long Term Plans, saying he was not given information he requested.

Feyen says he has met constant roadblocks during his term.

"I've hit brick walls with literally everything that I've wanted to do," he said.

"But I have achieved a lot and I'm very proud of that fact."


Feyen confirmed he had launched a number of inquiries into the council with statutory authorities, but felt they all passed the buck.

"All the regulatory authorities - the Ombudsman's office, MBIE, the Department of Internal Affairs, Audit New Zealand - they all duck-shove," he said.

"Nobody wants to really take a look into anything [at HDC] so I just keep the pressure on."

Keeping the pressure on is something Feyen says he will continue to do if re-elected.

He claims he did not believe the financial information and reports he saw while he was a councillor, which is what prompted him to run as mayor.

"That is why I stood - that we would open the books," he said. "And that has never been done."

The other big issues for the district Feyen identifies are closing Levin's landfill, improving the district's housing situation, improving infrastructure quality and reintroducing development contributions, taking action on the pollution in Lake Horowhenua and an integrated commuter transport network, he said.

There is also keeping up with provision of water for a growing population and keeping the pressure on the NZTA over roading plans in the district, including the planned expressway.

And he says rates are far too high.

It's a lot for any council to do, especially when there is division or relationship breakdown, but Feyen said he remains motivated.

"I've been resilient and stayed," he said. "I don't believe many people would have been able to manage that."