Retired outdoorsman Graeme Fothergill is looking to join Whanganui District Council in this year's local body elections, and said his top priority is sorting out pest control in the district.

When it comes to practical steps, Fothergill said he would like to see a programme similar to what's being done in New Plymouth where residents are encouraged to have pest traps in their backyards as part of Predator Free 2050.

"I would definitely want the government to give us some funds for something like that at least," Fothergill said.

The candidate said he doesn't believe the council has achieved much in the last three years, and indicated projects often aren't acted on in a cost-effective way.


"If you're going to do a project you've got to get on to it and do it before costs go up.

"One project I'll be pushing is to get the roof of the velodrome done. Even if they've got to borrow more money, just get it done then that's something we can say we've achieved.

"Then we can put a small fee on people who want to train there. I'm not sure if that's feasible or not but even if they come here and spent two or three weeks here, they've got to stay and eat somewhere so the town will benefit from that anyway."

Fothergill said another issue on his agenda is to get council to look at Whanganui's taxis.

"The taxi service is absolutely diabolical. One day at Trafalgar Square there were six people waiting for a taxi, and some had been waiting for over an hour. I don't think that's good enough."

The first-time council candidate said he considered standing for Horizons Regional Council instead of Whanganui District Council, but decided against it as two councillors he supports are seeking re-election.

Fothergill was born in Dannevirke and has lived in Waitotara, Taihape and Auckland, and spent 15 years in the United States.

Fothergill worked in farming, building and firefighting roles before retiring, and is the father of Whanganui & Partners Board chairman Myles Fothergill.


He also has experience working with Civil Defence and is looking to volunteer with the organisation again.

The candidate is passionate about saving longfin eels.