Holdom sur­prises at may­oral de­bate

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

A sur­prise con­tender emerged in the race to be the next mayor of the New Ply­mouth dis­trict.

On Thurs­day night the Taranaki Daily News hosted a live may­oral de­bate with the five peo­ple who are vy­ing for the may­oral chains; Heather Do­dun­ski, Richard Han­d­ley, Neil Holdom, Bill Simp­son and Clive Ton­gaawhikau.

While Do­dun­ski and Han­d­ley have widely been thought of as the main con­tenders, it was Holdom who stole the floor and was the clear crowd favourite on the night.

An exit poll showed that 53.19 per cent of the peo­ple who voted thought Holdom was the best speaker and had won their vote on the night.

The exit poll also showed Han­d­ley came in sec­ond, with 20.7 per cent of the vote, Ton­gaawhikau had 15.9 per cent of the vote, Do­dun­ski walked away with 8.5 per cent, and Bill Simp­son clocked in 1.5 per cent.

How­ever, an un­sci­en­tific, self­s­e­lect­ing poll on Stuff.co.nz showed that Richard Han­d­ley was the favourite con­tender for mayor, with about 46 per cent of the vote at 9.30am on Fri­day morn­ing.

On this poll Holdom came in sec­ond with 24 per cent of the vote, Do­dun­ski came in third with 21 per cent, Ton­gaawhikau bagged 6 per cent of the vote, and Simp­son had 3 per cent.

How­ever, on­line polls are po­ten­tially un­re­li­able as a per­son can cast their vote mul­ti­ple times, each time on a dif­fer­ent elec­tronic de­vice.

The re­sults are also un­sci­en­tific be­cause on­line polls can be an­swered by any­one, in­clud­ing peo­ple who live out­side of the re­gion and those be­low the vot­ing age.

Holdom, a 44-year-old fa­ther-ofthree, would be a new­comer to the coun­cil, but his lack of of­fi­cial coun­cil speak was a breath of fresh air and won the crowd of more than 200 peo­ple over.

On the night, Holdom spoke about con­nect­ing the Coastal Walk­way through to Oakura, in­vest­ing in wa­ter man­age­ment and in­fra­struc­ture, and New Ply­mouth be­ing the life­style cap­i­tal of New Zealand.

Holdom, who is the for­mer ed­i­tor of the North Taranaki Mid­week, told the crowd that if he was elected as the mayor he would give up his day job at Pow­erco.

Votes must be in by noon on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 8.

Jim Tucker NPDC. I’ve a long back­ground in ob­serv­ing, analysing and writ­ing about lo­cal gov­ern­ment. I’m well­pre­pared for the chal­lenges of be­ing a coun­cil­lor. I re­turned back home be­cause it’s a great place to live. Let me ap­ply what I’ve learned in man­age­ment, me­dia and ed­u­ca­tion to make it even bet­ter.

Kevin Nielsen TDHB. I’ve a proven record from 14 years as CEO of Hos­pice Taranaki; 9 years on the Hos­pice NZ Board and 3 years on TDHB as chair of the Hospi­tal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee. For ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge, en­thu­si­asm and a pas­sion to en­sure qual­ity health ser­vices are avail­able to all, vote for me.

Josh Cleaver TDHB. I want to bring a fresh and pos­i­tive ap­proach to how we best make our Health Board the place where ev­ery­one wants to work. Achiev­ing this goal we will cre­ate a vi­brant place for heal­ing and health pro­mo­tion. This needs to be Taranaki­wide and not just the big cen­tres.

Richard Jor­dan NPDC I am a cur­rent coun­cil­lor and work hard for our com­mu­nity. I want our dis­trict to pros­per and progress. It is pos­si­ble to achieve that while main­tain­ing a prac­ti­cal ap­proach to spend­ing. I am com­mit­ted to a high qual­ity work­ing and liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment and a vi­brant, at­trac­tive dis­trict.

Char­lotte Littlewood TRC. With an av­er­age age over 60, it’s time to add a fresh per­spec­tive and voice for the fu­ture to the Re­gional Coun­cil. I’m pas­sion­ate about Taranaki and our en­vi­ron­ment, and have over 10 years ex­pe­ri­ence in busi­ness and a Masters in Fi­nance.

Jim Tucker TDHB. There are ex­cel­lent can­di­dates for the health board but we need peo­ple in­de­pen­dent from the health in­dus­try. I’ve been writ­ing about health for decades, and I’m a cancer sur­vivor. I’m stand­ing as a lay ex­pert and a pa­tient ad­vo­cate.

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