Opportunities to meet candidates

Two chances to ‘‘meet the candidates’’ in the local government elections are on offer in Oamaru this month.

The Rotary Club of Oamaru invites all Waitaki voters to the Brydone Hotel’s Moeraki Room at 6.30pm on Wednesday, September 7.

Rotary club president Sven Thelning said the venue was chosen to allow plenty of room for the large crowd expected.

Entry is free, but donations to the Oamaru Churches Foodbank would be welcome.

Mr Thelning said there had been one apology received from a candidate and three others had not confirmed if they would attend. All others would be present.

The evening would begin with a two›minute introduction from each candidate. First up are the Oamaru Licensing Trust contenders, followed by the mayoral hopefuls, and lastly the Waitaki District Council candidates.

Questions from the floor would then be taken by the mayoral and council candidates. Any question directed to an individual must be answered in 30 seconds. If questions are addressed to multiple candidates, they should be formatted so they could be answered with a show of hands or yes/no, Mr Thelning said.

If that was not possible, the answers should be kept to 10 seconds.

A bell would be rung when candidates have 10 seconds left to complete their answers, and a double ring of the bell would signal them to sit down.

Rotary was organising the evening to give all candidates a chance to be heard, and to allow the electorate to get the information it wants, Mr Thelning said. He aimed to close the meeting at 9pm.

On Tuesday, September 13, the Business Hive is the venue for Waitaki District Councillor Candidates: Meet and Greet. Hosted by Business South, it starts at 5.15pm and entry is free.

Business South Waitaki navigator Rebecca Finlay said most candidates had already confirmed their attendance.

The format would be different from — and complementary to — the Rotary meeting. It would begin with the candidates giving a short presentation about what is important to them and what they could bring to the council.

They would then be ‘‘stationed around the room’’ to be able to have conversations with people individually or in small groups.

‘‘It gives the less extroverted candidates an opportunity to shine,’’ Mrs Finlay said.

‘‘Lots of peoples’ motivation in standing for the council is to give service to the community.’’

Likewise, voters could speak to the candidates without having to air their concerns publicly.

The fact the two meetings were taking place on different nights of the week also allowed those with regular commitments to attend one of them, she said.

The gathering was expected to last about two hours.

  • There are also opportunities to meet the candidates in Hampden at 7pm on Tuesday, September 6, at the Memorial Hall; and in Palmerston at 7pm on Thursday, September 8, at the East Otago High School library.