Former mayoral candidate Alan Taylor says he will focus on Whanganui's infrastructure in the face of climate change if he's re-elected to Whanganui council.

But he won't be going for the top job this time.

Taylor served three terms on the Whanganui Rural Community Board before being elected to council in the 2016 election.

The former university climate studies lecturer, who now spends his spare time on his farm, was a driving force behind council adopting a motion around climate change.

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"Climate change affects everybody and it's going to pose huge costs on all local authorities and all sectors of society," Taylor said.

"The public needs to be aware there will be large costs, clearly local government won't be able to meet them all, but I want the public to engage with us to help us work through how we deal with this issue."

The councillor said another area he wanted to continue working on was advocating to central government that local government was increasingly struggling to function on limited funding such as rates, while dealing with increasing service demands.

Taylor ran for mayor in 2016 and finished second, 2900 votes short of winner Hamish McDouall, but is only wanting to retain his council seat this election.

"Last time there was a lot of uncertainty about where we were going and I felt I had something to offer as mayor, but I'm quite confident in saying Hamish has done a pretty reasonable job and I'm confident in his leadership into the next three years."

Taylor said council was never short of challenges, and that a good councillor had to make rational, evidence-based decisions.

"Councils should focus several decades ahead to make decisions that will ensure mobility, liveability and sustainably for its urban and rural constituents.

"We are there to govern for the present, our children and our grandchildren. We must ensure infrastructural and societal resilience into a very different future."

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