Marton's Coral Raukawa isn't new to the council process, nor is she new to running in an election, but she's hoping the public feels her voice would be the best suited to sit around the council table.
Raukawa is a candidate in the Rangitīkei District Council Southern ward by-election and says she brings a distinct and unique voice to Rangitikei's most important body.
With a 20-year background in education and training, Raukawa said her experience within the community qualified her for the job.
"I want to be part of the decision making for our community. I'd love to work with the different businesses in our town. I would love to bridge the gaps that I see in the community in terms of housing, as well as rangatahi and employment."
The aspiring councillor isn't new to the election process. Raukawa placed seventh out of the nine candidates standing in the central ward at the 2019 local body elections, receiving just over 700 votes.
This time around, Raukawa is standing in the Southern ward, hoping her chances of success will be higher. Much like her competitor, she doesn't reside in the Southern ward herself but has strong connections to the area.
"My marae is in the Southern ward, and we are currently in the process of getting our papakāinga land ready to build on, so I intend on moving into the ward."
Raukawa believes her own voice and connections to local iwi and marae would prove valuable on council.
She also currently contributes as the Māori voice on two council subcommittees and says she is familiar with the council process.
"I do know councillors, I do know the ins and outs of staff."
Raukawa is also a small business owner involved in the logging truck industry. She says there needs to be more engagement between council and business as well as genuine consultation.
"I understand the needs of business owners. I want to advocate on behalf of the businesses in the towns. We don't want empty shops.
"Lets start having business evenings and lets start getting the council involved."
Asked for her three top priorities as a candidate, Raukawa said it came back to the people of her constituency.
"Māori , community and youth. I'm passionate about them."
• Voting papers will be delivered from January 26 with voting closing on February 17.