At 21, Josh Chandulal-Mackay is the youngest member of the newly elected Whanganui District Council but said he didn't stand as a standard-bearer for his generation.

"What drove it for me was a fundamental commitment to Whanganui and a real passion for the place," he said.

Mr Chandulal-Mackay has just finished a degree in politics and had served on the council's youth committee for six years so local body politics was something that he loved: "It was really that time on the committee that drove me".

He works for Craigs Investment Partners involved in compliance and that job will continue but council will be his priority.


During his campaign Mr Chandulal-Mackay talked up bringing more events to the city, promoting vibrancy in the city and making Whanganui a place where businesses can do well.

He's also passionate about arts, culture and heritage and is keen to see the Sarjeant Art Gallery project happen.

"Urban planning and design is another area I'm keen on, especially the town centre regeneration. I'd love to bring some council focus back onto that side of things."

He also highlighted the need for council to be supportive of the more vulnerable in the community, retaining pensioner housing and making sure there was good access to services.

"During the campaign I didn't want to be restricted to a single issue. I want to be positive about issues, be collaborative and not be negative.

"I just hope the new councillors remain issues-focused and are collaborative regardless of what their political stripes may be or what faction they may be aligned to."