Congratulations to Jason Granville, our newest councillor.

The popular radio show host did at the weekend what he came so close to doing at October's local body elections - securing a place at the Wanganui District Council table.

On paper, Mr Granville was not the best qualified of the eight by-election candidates but he has a passion for the city where he was born and bred, and a feeling for the community he will now serve.

He also benefited from a high profile in Wanganui accrued through his radio work, and is a testimony to the value of name recognition when it comes to elections.


In October, he was just 78 votes shy of unseating long-serving Councillor Sue Westwood for the last council spot, despite having spent exactly zero dollars on his campaign.

It is unlikely he opened his wallet during the by-election campaign. He didn't need to, winning with more than double the votes of nearest rival Graham Adams.

At 31, Mr Granville adds a youthful perspective to the council chamber, and that's no bad thing. He is also leaving his radio slot to run a tourism business and that should give a useful insight into what our district needs for business success and visitor appeal.

Having come so close in October, it is, of course, an expensive shame that he could not have joined the council as best runner-up and spared us the $40,000-plus by-election costs.

The council was forced to abide by the rules and run an election to fill the seat vacated by Michael Laws, but let's hope moves to change those rules will be pushed ahead and reach fruition.

We wish Mr Granville well and trust he will work hard to earn his $28,000 salary.

There is also every reason to expect that he will turn up to meetings.