One of Ruapehu's regional council candidates helps run an ecotourism venture, another is helping her tribe toward Treaty settlement and the third was Ruapehu's mayor for six years.

Ruapehu District gets just one seat on Horizons Regional Council, and that has been held by farmer and market gardener Bruce Rollinson for six years. He's standing down and the three each want to take his place.

Richard Steele calls himself a farmer and conservationist. He leases his Retaruke Station to son Dan and the two run Blue Duck Lodge and Station. It's a combined farm, tourist and honey business at Whakahoro on the Whanganui River.

Richard Steele. Photo / Supplied
Richard Steele. Photo / Supplied

Steele has written three books set in Retaruke. He founded the Ruapehu branch of Federated Farmers and is a life member, while also believing most of the hill country in his area should never have been cleared for grazing.

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Moana Ellis lives in both Whanganui and Raetihi, but was raised at Ohakune under Mt Ruapehu. She has worked for newspapers in England, Wales and New Zealand and now owns her own communications business.

Back in the region for six years Ellis has been helping Uenuku, Tamahaki and Tamakana people work toward a Treaty of Waitangi settlement. She's also on the Whanganui Regional Museum board and a shareholder in a large region farming business, the Atihau Whanganui Incorporation.

Horizons Regional Council Ruapehu candidate Weston Kirton. Photo / Supplied
Horizons Regional Council Ruapehu candidate Weston Kirton. Photo / Supplied

Weston Kirton is no stranger to politics, having been a Ruapehu District Councillor, then Ruapehu Mayor for six years. After that he stood twice for the National Party in the Taupō electorate, and spent three years representing Ruapehu on Horizons Regional Council.

He also milked cows on a Taumarunui dairy farm for 30 years. He knows some of the complexities of Horizons' One Plan and would also like to improve public transport in the region - especially for people with disabilities.