Report from NewsWire by Anneka Paul
An unimpressed retiree crowd at the Lambton Ward candidates meeting weren’t swayed by speeches.
Lambton Ward covers areas from Thorndon, through to south Brooklyn and as far east as Oriental Bay.
Martin Young was not impressed with the candidate’s speeches and said Iona Pannett was the only one who best kept to the timing and the facts. “I was dissatisfied with the whole meeting really. There wasn’t much nitty gritty, not terribly impressed with anybody,” he said.
Candidates were given one minute to talk about key issues for inner city residents and businesses.
Mayoral candidate Nicola Young kicked off the speeches after drawing her name from a bowl. Ms Young was also first to speak at the Aro Valley meeting, and she joked about being superstitious.
Local resident Judy Bale said mayoral candidate Nicola Young was the only person that made an impression on her . “The rest were fairly loose. They dissuaded me when they gave the first statement, I ruled people out,” she said.
The issue of earthquake strengthening inner city buildings was one on which all candidates spoke strongly. Ms Young said the criteria for earthquake strengthening were too high, while candidate John Dow thought the issue was “over-egged”.
Undecided voter Kevin Jones siad central city management in dealing with drunkenness, security and noise issues was most important.
Karl Bale went into the meeting intending to vote for Rex Nicholls and Nicola Young.
However, after hearing John Dow speak at the meeting, he thought he reflected him well.
“I don’t know if Rex should be coming back for a second time. John Dow had easy yes’s. It’s all too easy to get bound up in emotion. It’s not practical,” he said.
NewsWire report by Zak Gerraty
Lambton Ward candidates were last night questioned on subjects from earthquake strengthening to their salaries. They got their chance to pitch why they should be in council at the meeting hosted by the Inner City Association.
Incumbent Councillor Iona Pannett, mayoral candidate Nicola Young, former Labour Party MP Mark Peck, Rex Nicholls, John Woolf, John Dow and Stephen Preston lined up at the CQ Hotel in Cuba St.
After a flurry of distributing flyers candidates picked a number out of a bowl for the order in which they’d get to speak.
Mayoral candidate Nicola Young drew first and spent most of her speech attacking the current council.
The ward candidates all touched on issues faced in the city, including alcohol, lighting, public transport and strengthening becoming recurring points.
Rivalry and alliances were clear with Mr Nicholls and Ms Young sitting close and whispering to each other when Cr Pannett’s spoke, including one not-so-subtle “Oh god, here we go again” from Mr Nicholls.
Green Party Cr Pannett said she would work on alcohol reform and not targeting young people as the only culprits. “As a parent my worst nightmare is getting a call from the police when my children are older saying your child is in trouble or dead and that alcohol would be one of the likely causes,” she said.
Mr Preston wants to sort out the problem with congestion and traffic build-up in the city without the need of a flyover, and also mentioned global warming.
Candidate John Woolf also talked about wanting to change the transport in and out of the city and wants to make public transport better. “Today a modern city is a walkable city,” Woolf said.
Once the speeches were over the crowd were given a chance to ask candidates questions about issues that concerned them.
John Dow said the most important situation was the earthquake situation because of the business lost during recent quakes. “I talked to a couple of hotel owners and they said they had a lot of cancellations and it cost a lot of money,” Mr Dow said.
All the candidates answered most questions extensively with a lot of disagreements and agreements on key points like transport and the flyover.
Former councillor Rex Nicholls wants more business opportunities to be bought into the city and wants transport to be sorted out. “Easy to invest, easy to build, easy to employ,” Mr Nicholls said of his vision for the city.
One crowd member asked if elected the candidates would accept a pay increase.
Most of the candidates said that the money was just a bonus.
Stephen Preston said he would not accept it, which the crowd disapproved of.
Candidates then were able to give a final summary where they explained why the people should vote for them.
Former Labour MP for Invercargill Mark Peck finished by thanking Councillor Ian McKinnon for his years of service and said he was the reason why he is running for council.
Newswire is a publication of the Whitireia Journalism School