Jenny Duncan reckons the next three years will be critical to the future of Whanganui and that challenge has motivated her to seek re-election for a second term on both the district council and district health board.

Ms Duncan said while opportunities and "amazing things" were happening here there were challenges that needed to be addressed and she wanted to contribute to that process.

She said either reducing services or growing the rating base were two ways to reduce rates but cutting services was never popular "so we must grow the rating base, both residential and business".

She said attracting people to Whanganui needed jobs and that would be her focus in the next term.


"This is a significant goal for us but one that needs our attention." And attracting environmentally-sustainable businesses and assisting existing businesses to grow improve the economy and spread the rates burden.

"We must promote a positive and attractive image of our region to the rest of New Zealand and internationally and we must stop the negative press and recognise just how harmful this is to us."

She said the wastewater problem had been foisted upon the current council and required some astute thinking and a lot of work to resolve. Now council had to make it affordable "and I'm up for that challenge".

"We need a council that contributes productively and has the right skills to move us forward. We need robust decision-making, need to communicate better and we must find savings. A clear plan to reduce debt and reduce our rate increases is essential."

She said working with neighbouring councils would help achieve this. Divisions in regional New Zealand gives strength to the resource shift to Auckland and "this simply has to stop".

Ms Duncan said she "thought long and hard" before agreeing to stand for both council and health board.

"The failed plan to move our women's maternity service to Palmerston North really drove home how vulnerable we are to having services reduced. I led the Chamber of Commerce and business sector challenge of this and supported the community challenge and we won.

"When we unite productively it'ss amazing what we can achieve. Despite being told we could not recruit, we did. We can attract good people to our beautiful district."

She said with her experience in business, both as an accountant and business coach, her community and business leadership gave her the skills and capability to continue to serve Whanganui.