Councillor Helen Craig says these are exciting times for Whanganui.

In a video interview with Local Focus, she declared her passion for the town's heritage and regeneration of the town centre. And she claimed credit for recent growth in Whanganui.

"I really wanted to get on council to help to stimulate things, to turn things around and it has," she said.

"For five years now we've been growing, the population has been growing, and that's so exciting. But there is still an awful lot to do. There's an awful lot of things to keep embedding in place to make sure that growth continues."


Craig talked about the importance of better housing, Whanganui's assets - particularly the airport, the port and the Sargeant Gallery - and enlivening the town centre with projects such as last year's Whanganui Walls project.

"I've personally put a lot of effort into Heritage Month putting, in an entry into the Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards. I [entered] Ridgeway St because it is fantastic. We are doing so much and it is all coming to fruition."

Craig is concerned about SH4, also known as the Paraparas.

"It is an NZTA funding responsibility, but we really need to get that road fixed. I'm concerned that we could lose the Paraparas. It's that bad in some places and that's not good for our farming community and that's not good for a link right up to the North Island - so that's one of my big drivers."

Craig believes Whanganui has got one of the best councils in New Zealand.

"I think it is fantastic and that is the governance body and the actual staff. We are working really hard to make Whanganui grow and it is growing so that's a big thing."

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