It is a given there will be new faces around the Whanganui District Council table come October.

There is already a declared vacancy, with deputy mayor councillor Hamish McDouall not running for a council seat but deciding to contest the mayoralty, with incumbent Annette Main quitting local politics.

While some of the current crop have declared their hand for re-election, four councillors are undecided or unwilling to declare their intent this far out.

Philippa Baker-Hogan, Sue Westwood, Rangi Wills and Jason Granville are those who are uncommitted. But councillors Jack Bullock, Jenny Duncan, Charlie Anderson, Martin Visser, Rob Vinsen, Helen Craig and Ray Stevens are all preparing for another campaign.


"I've honestly not made up my mind," Mrs Baker-Hogan told the Chronicle.

She got on to council via a by-election in 2006 and has held her place ever since.

She was a mayoral candidate in 2010 but opted to focus on council and district health board three years later - though she did tell the Chronicle in 2013 that she would "likely try" for the mayoralty in 2016.

First-timer Mr Granville was elected to council after winning a by-election by a 3000 vote majority in mid-2014 following Michael Law's resignation.

"I've not 100 per cent decided but, at this stage, I'm leaning towards not standing again - the place just does my head in," Mr Granville said.

A councillor since 1995, Mrs Westwood said she believed it was far too early for anyone to be declaring their intent and confirmed that she would not be making any announcements at this time.

This is the fourth term on council for Mr Wills but he said he had not made his mind up about 2016.

That quartet aside, seven other incumbents are saying "pick me".

Mr Bullock is upbeat about the upcoming elections - "I've even been offered a number of prime billboard locations," he said.

Newbie Mr Anderson is also seeking the voters' mandate for another term.

So, too, is Mr Visser who said: "There's a lot of good and exciting change occurring in Whanganui, though still so much unfinished business."

Mr Vinsen is a familiar face at council table and will seek another term.

He wants to see through the upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant and the port redevelopment.

"I've had many approaches about entering the mayoral race," he said.

"However, the fulltime commitment that the role requires is not possible for me and my hat will not be one of those in the ring. I look forward to some new interest for the role that Mayor Annette has performed so admirably."

Mr Stevens ranks as one of Whanganui's longest-serving councillors and is back for more: "It would be a shame to waste 18 years of council experience."

Mrs Craig is keen for another dig, saying: "I'm committed to standing at the next local body elections."

So too is Ms Duncan: "There are a number of things I'm committed to see happen.
"Growing jobs is still my number one priority - we've made some progress but need to do a great deal more to create an environment where businesses flourish and jobs are created."

And she's keen to see change around the council table "so that we can let go of the petty behaviour and achieve for our community".