Taumarunui has virtually no public transport and, now that he's back on Horizons Regional Council, Weston Kirton wants to change that.

In the preliminary results count he got 1612 votes, with the next highest Ruapehu constituency candidate Richard Steele on 1023.

Kirton previously served on Ruapehu District Council as councillor and mayor, and had one term on Horizons Regional Council in 2005-2008.

He no longer has a dairy farm and has time to devote to the new role.


He knows climate change and environmental issues related to farming have crept up the agenda.

But district transport is on his mind now. He's already talked to fellow councillors Bruce Gordon and Rachel Keedwell about it.

"We have no taxi service. We don't even have the train stopping here. There's a lot of people, particularly elderly people, that are disadvantaged," he said.

He'd like to work with the Taumarunui mobility committee to get some subsidised transport help for the elderly and disabled. The group wants to buy a new vehicle and, working through Horizons and the New Zealand Transport Agency, it may be able to get a subsidy.

Taumarunui's school buses could also be used for public transport during school hours, he said.

A fortnightly shuttle between Raetihi and Ohakune is used by 98 per cent of SuperGold Card holders, he said. It's essential for shopping, especially given Raetihi has a doctor but no pharmacy.

"I would like to enhance that, if I can."