What does Whanganui expect from its elected representative in Parliament and how do the candidates plan to represent them? In the first of a series of articles, the Whanganui Chronicle asks local organisations and interest groups as well as those in the running for the role for their thoughts.
Local businesses say their representative in Parliament should be a strong advocate for them.
"The Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to see the local MP be visibly present and involved in the community and be the supportive arm of government in our city," chief executive Sue Stuart said.
"We expect the local MP to be, without delay, reactive to queries and proactively addressing issues of importance raised. Further, to advocate for and assist the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce's desire to support local business interests and promote business vitality in Whanganui."
Te Manu Atatū - Whanganui Māori Business Network chairwoman Carol Hayward said communicating with a local MP was vital.
"For any Whanganui business right now it is really important to know that we have good representation in Parliament," she said.
"We are essential to the economic development of the region and while we're busy running our businesses we may not be aware of government initiatives and funding streams that can support us.
"I would like to know that our MP is keeping us informed about those things."
Age Concern Whanganui manager Michelle Malcolm said she would like to see a local MP being "more of a presence in Whanganui" and was disappointed that none of the candidates attended the organisation's recent AGM although they were all invited.
"Older people are very motivated voters and want to hear from their candidates so it is disappointing that we didn't have our candidates there.
"I'm disappointed that the Government has not appointed a commissioner for older persons as Labour had talked about their intention to do that before the last election."
Malcolm said health, housing, transport, digital inclusion and banking services were all big concerns for older people living in Whanganui.
"An MP who will be a strong advocate for improvements in those areas and make themselves available in the electorate would be very desirable."
Whanganui Labour candidate Steph Lewis said it was a fair request for constituents to expect their local MP to be visible in the community.
"If I am fortunate enough to be elected I intend to be available as often as I can in the electorate.
"I will need to be in Wellington working for the party from Tuesday to Thursday each week but from Friday to Monday I will be in Whanganui and during recess weeks I want to do outreach work in the electorate.
"You can't always expect people to come to you so I want to get out into the community and hear what people have to say."
Lewis said she also intends to have regular liaison with local government and iwi if she is elected.
Incumbent MP Harete Hipango (National) said she heard the concerns that people wanted their representative to be available in their electorate.
"It is not something that anyone can really understand until they have been in the role.
"I am coming to the end of my first term as an MP and I have learned that sometimes it is about aiming for quality rather than quantity.
"There are three parts to the role - working for the electorate, working for parliament and working for your party.
"When I can't be there I have a team in Whanganui who are there to support constituents."
Hipango said she had lobbied hard for Whanganui projects like the Sarjeant Gallery and port developments and her efforts have helped to achieve government funding for those projects.
"Those are things that people don't see but I am all for Whanganui and will continue to work hard for Whanganui's interests after the election."
Green Party candidate Alan Clay is asking Whanganui people for their party vote so is aiming to become a list MP.
"If I do become an MP I plan to be very visible in Whanganui.
"I really enjoy talking and listening to people and I will be honoured to represent Whanganui in Parliament because it is my home town and a great place to live."
New Conservative Party candidate Jonathan Marshall said he believed a Whanganui MP should have electorate offices in more than one location.
"I would like to have offices in Hāwera and Stratford as well as Whanganui," he said.
"I have heard people say that they want their MP to be accessible in the electorate so I'd also like to set up a regular time and place to chat with people away from the electorate office."
Social Credit candidate Heather Marion Smith said she would address health and housing concerns by asking the Reserve Bank to issue interest-free loans to the Whanganui District Health Board and local councils.
"I would make myself available to Whanganui constituents as often and regularly as I'm able and if I were in Parliament I would ensure I have a secretary who would make sure to acknowledge everyone who calls and follow up their concerns."