A candidate in New Plymouth's upcoming by-election is calling for Taranaki's four councils to merge.
Neil Holdom, a coporate affairs manager at Powerco, today announced his intention to stand for the seat vacated by John McLeod, who quit over the adoption of a Maori ward.
Mr Holdom says Taranaki spends about $4 million on council executives, mayors and councillors - a sum he says could be halved through amalgamation.
The former journalist says per head of population, Taranaki ratepayers are paying about four times as much for governance and management as Aucklanders.
Nominations for the by-election open on 18 November.
The failed 2013 candidate Reuben Doyle is also standing.