A "mayor of the people" is the catch cry that Whanganui mayoral candidate William Osborne hopes will get him elected.

The first time candidate says he wants to increase the level of authority the public have in their home town, something he thinks has been missing in Whanganui for many years.

"There has been a void in community voice and a real lack of empathy from the council," Mr Osborne said.

"There have been very few leaders who have watched and listened to what the people want."


Mr Osborne joins deputy mayor Hamish McDouall and councillor Helen Craig in announcing his bid to succeed Annette Main, who will step down as mayor at the October local body elections.

One key area for him is achieving is a greater level of community involvement through an effective use of social media.

"The amount of people in this city using social media is just phenomenal. It is a medium which is certainly not exploited enough.

"Instead of having to come in to the council office, go to meetings and deal with all the back channels, Facebook allows people to make contact from home or wherever they feel comfortable."

Mr Osborne, who is the brother of former All Black Glen Osborne, says he is a country boy who loves his community and wants to give back to it.

He was born and raised in Whanganui and returned to the area three years ago from Perth, where he was an explosives technician in the mines. He has now started his own consultancy business from home.

The 33-year-old father of two also says, if elected, he will go into office with no hidden agenda and insists he has no political bias.

"I think, as a mayor, if you were to have a political affiliation there would be a tendency to sway people's opinions or do things in a certain way, which may not be reflective of everyone.

"I just want people to know that's not me."

Mr Osborne says the current state of the city is "okay," but he would like to see continued growth.

"The city is moving forward, but not at the rate at which it could be. There appears to be a serious lack of ambition from the council at the moment."

He would like to see a greater emphasis on designing systems which not meet only meet national standards, but exceed them.

He said Whanganui had places and things to see that could attract people from all over the country, but they just needed more of a push.

"Things like economic development, building and infrastructure goals need to be looked at.

"I may be one of the boring people who sit there and read all the council statements and progress reports, but in these areas we're only just meeting national averages at best.

"I want to see us to set global trends and smash national averages.

"For the first time in a long time, you have someone going out of their way asking people what they want, not people being told what they can have," Mr Osborne said.