One day she's sitting at a boardroom table; the next she has her gumboots on and is helping out on the family farm.

It's that diversity that Whanganui District Council candidate Kiritahi Firmin hopes to bring to the council table.

Mrs Firmin has just announced that she intends to stand for Whanganui District Council and Whanganui District Health Board at the local government elections in October.

She told the Wanganui Chronicle she has been thinking about standing for council for about six years.


"I've been wanting to do this for a long time. I love serving the community and that's what I want to do with council.

"It seems scary to me that you have the same kind of people always getting on council. But this year there are some younger, fresher, more diverse people putting their hands up. So I decided now was the right time."

She is passionate about community well-being, environmental protection for the Whanganui River, stimulating business development, liquor licensing and homelessness.

"We think of homelessness as a big city issue, but it's happening here in Whanganui. How did we as a community allow this to happen?"

Mrs Firmin is the founder of Kimiora Trust, a community organisation that works with individuals and whanau affected by suicide and abuse.

She lives on a farm in the Makirikiri Valley with her husband, son and one daughter. Her eldest daughter is at university and lives away from home.

Mrs Firmin is of Nga Paerangi descent and was born and brought up at Kaiwhaiki, on the Whanganui River.

And although she is proud of being a Maori woman, Mrs Firmin said she intends to represent all people.

"I'm fluent in both English and te reo, and I am comfortable living in both worlds."