Mayoral hopefuls face off at forum

SHARE

Seven mayoral hopefuls faced off on Monday night in the Oamaru Mail Mayoral Forum, which was held at the Oamaru Opera House.

Moderated by Oamaru solicitor Phil Hope and hosted by the Oamaru Mail, the Mayoral Forum was the second opportunity for local voters to hear from candidates Fliss Butcher, Eric Spittal, David Wilson, Helen Stead, Gary Kircher, Greg Smith and Jim Hopkins.

Oamaru Mail general manager Tony Neilsen said the forum had gone well.

“As the local daily paper, we felt it was important to provide this opportunity which allowed our readers to pose the questions that would assist them as they decide who will be our next mayor,” he said.

“The turn-out of 200 plus was very pleasing and it was fantastic that we were able to provide a contribution of almost $1000 to North Otago Search and Rescue.

“The feedback I received afterwards also confirmed that the format was very helpful in learning more about the mayoral candidates and what they stand for and I thought Phil Hope did an outstanding job as moderator”.

Each candidate introduced themselves with a brief two-minute profile and then, in random order, answered a number of questions submitted by Oamaru Mail readers.

Candidates had 60 seconds to respond to the questions, which ranged from how the role of mayor would fit in with their day job to how they felt about the public feedback being expressed about the location of the tearooms at Friendly Bay.

In upcoming editions, the Oamaru Mail will run profiles and photos of candidates in all wards, including the Waitaki Mayoralty hopefuls.

Each candidate will also be posed a series of questions and asked to respond within a set timeframe.

By Jacquie Webby