Whanganui district councillor Rob Vinsen says he will "fight for the ratepayer" if he is re-elected in October's election.

Vinsen won his council seat in a by-election in 2008 and has served under mayors Michael Laws, Annette Main and Hamish McDouall.

Vinsen said the shortage of rental social housing and mitigation of climate change were two issues he will focus on if re-elected.

"Although council has and should play a lead role in both issues, I do not believe that it is the responsibility of the ratepayer to provide social housing, nor to incur potentially large costs for climate change mitigation," he said.

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"We must adopt a common sense approach that is affordable."

Vinsen said he was an opponent of building a new $41.2 million wastewater treatment plant, and favoured repairing the old plant at a cheaper cost instead.

"Despite four new supportive councillors coming in at the start of this last term, council's signing of a contract for the new plant just 17 days before the election made cancelling the contract prohibitively costly and construction had to proceed."

Vinsen said in his role as Joint Forestry Committee chairman he saw the sale of council's joint venture forests for $13.4m.

"This sale has allowed the rating impact of the wastewater treatment plant to be a lot less painful for ratepayers as $10m of the proceeds from the forestry sale was put towards subsidising the project," he said.

Vinsen said he's had public support to run for mayor but would not put himself forward, instead endorsing McDouall.

"Fighting for the ratepayer are the words that best describe this last term for me, and this will be my continued focus if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected," he said.

"Experience around the council table will be vital, so a blend of experience with some new energy added will make the best council for Whanganui."

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