Cam­paign opens for coun­cil can­di­dates

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

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 tri­bune@msl.co.nz, and let us know on Neigh­bourly. Your feed­back about how you would like your city run over the next three years will prove in­sight­ful. -

WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

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.

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