Campaign opens for council candidates
A more gender balanced, ethnically diverse and slightly younger council is possible, given the candidate line-up at last Wednesday’s inaugural Meet The Candidates evening.
Of the 28 hopefuls, 11 are women, including four sitting councillors. The city’s immigrant community had a good representation, and there are some younger hopes who are prepared to give the council the benefit of their up-and-coming perspective.
There was also the reemergence of mainstream political party affiliations. While a large proportion of the candidates come with ‘‘Independent’’ labels, there are four - Zulfiqar Butt, Dave Chisholm, Sheryll Hoera and Lorna Johnson on a Labour party ticket, while Brent Barrett is aligned to the Greens.
150 or so people, including the candidates and their supporters, made for a respectably sized gathering as the first formal shots of the 2016 local body electoral campaign were fired.
The two mayoral candidates opened the session. Wearing a costume crown, Ross Barber offered to buy people’s debts and permit them to grow medicinal marijuana.
Mayor Grant Smith outlined his achievements after 14 months since last year’s by-election and his commitment to making further progress.
25 of the 28 - candidates Darryl Cleland and Tony McLaughlin sending apologies, and councillor Leonie Hapeta addressing the gathering by video - followed with their two-minute presentations.
Havelock North’s contaminated drinking water provided a lesson on local government responsibilities. Councillor Jim Jefferies said councils must pay attention to the basics.
‘‘We must make sure you can drink the water and that when you flush the toilet, it will go to the right place.’’
‘‘Basics’’ such as wastewater, drinking water, and other infrastructure along with transparency, fiscal responsibility, social housing, community care, youth employment, a living wage, the environment, council teamwork and rates featured in many of the quick-fire presentations.
Some came out with direct policy statements; others used Powerpoint presentations. there were those who took an anecdotal approach and even offered a leavening of humour.
The Tribune wants to know what readers think are the priorities for this election. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know on Neighbourly. Your feedback about how you would like your city run over the next three years will prove insightful. -
2016 city council hopefuls (across L- R) Cr Aleisha Rutherford, Cr Tangi Utikere, Cr Vaughan Dennison, David Chisholm, Gavin Edwards, Cr Duncan McCann, Sheryll Hoera, Cr Jim Jefferies, Cr Adrian Broad, Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke, Karen Naylor, Sue Pugmire, Martin Egan, James Etuale, Zulfiqar Butt, Cr Bruno Petrenas, Joseph Poff, Cr Billy Meehan, Cr Rachel Bowen, Cr Lew Findlay, Elizabeth Paine, Abi Symes, Lorna Johnson, Cr Susan Baty, Brent Barrett.