Having the wellbeing of Whanganui's environment and its people at the forefront of the district is the focus for Whanganui District Council candidate Jill Sheehy.

Sheehy said she was passionate about the resource consent process, and how wellbeing values, common interests, and economic growth can be integrated in decision making.

If successful, Sheehy said she wants to improve council's communication with tangata whenua.

"Instead of having a big public meeting in town, take a meeting out to Gonville or Castlecliff and communicate all their aspirations and goals that way," Sheehy said.


"Communication needs to continue all the time so people actually know what's happening and they can be aware and not surprised.

"The worst thing is to find out something is already being done and it's too late. Some people aren't comfortable with submissions so let's work with them."

Sheehy said council had supported meetings between Tūpoho and Tama Ūpoko.

"They trained some of us as RMA commissioners and those of us who completed the training were sitting on the Whanganui District Council hearing panel as commissioners for plan changes.

"That was a great experience and I fell in love with the RMA because I saw ways we could work with legislation and our environment."

Sheehy said one council project she supported and was pleased to see completed is the wastewater treatment plant.

"It was a big issue years ago and our focus was to get it done so there's no more raw sewage going out into the ocean.

"Part of the conditions of that was tangata whenua were able to set up an accord and monitor it through the whole process.


"It's not about trying to stop industry, investment or development, but it's about doing it in the right way so it's sustainable."

Sheehy unsuccessfully ran for Whanganui District Council in 2016, but said it was an enjoyable experience.

Although her goal is to make it to council, Sheehy said she's also happy inspiring whanau and others in the community.

"It's to show this open to anybody and people shouldn't be afraid to step up."