Various public roles stand Doreen Hardy in good stead for council, she says

Doreen Hardy isn't making any promises in announcing her candidacy for council - other than she will have what is best for the community in mind.

The Whanganui woman will be running for a spot on the Whanganui District Council in October's election.

Mrs Hardy moved to Whanganui in 2007 and set up The Papercraft Room before taking up a number of roles including chairwoman of Mainstreet Whanganui, sitting on the Design and Heritage Committee and the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce board.

Mrs Hardy is also the project co-ordinator for Collective Whanganui which aims to use empty shop spaces to promote artists as well as creative and community groups.


"I thought about running for council at the last election but I still had my shop, and council's a lot of work. I've closed my shop now so the timing's right."

Before moving to Whanganui in 2007, Mrs Hardy lived and worked in the Middle East working for the British Council.

She came to Whanganui on holiday about 15 years ago and took to the place immediately.

"We walked down the main street and people spoke to us," she said. "People were lovely and friendly, it was just beautiful. We came every year after that."

Mrs Hardy said she won't be running on a "ticket" or specific promises because one councillor alone cannot make a decision.

"The promises I am making are that I will attend every council meeting. I will do all the work before that meeting so that I'm up to scratch," she said.

"I think it's a job and it's a privilege. I don't take a privilege lightly."

Mrs Hardy said her various roles had helped give her a sense of the community's needs but she was keen to find out more about what people wanted.

"I think they want honesty, I think they want transparency and I think they want somebody with fiscal responsibility.

"Sometimes we have to spend money but when we're voting to decide on spending money we need to consider the repercussions for people in Whanganui. I guess what I'm asking the Whanganui people is that they trust I will make the best decisions."

Dealing with rising rates and economic development would be the biggest issues facing the next council, Mrs Hardy said. There were things councillors could do to help.

"We don't blow our own trumpet enough. I think we've got to say Whanganui is more than statistics. We've got to start working on changing the mindset of people who might come here.

"Right now I feel that there's a little bit of an upbeat going on. I think we are getting a little bit of pride in our community and I think councillors need to lead by example. If councillors are upbeat the community will be upbeat."