In a front page headline on Wednesday, the deeply probing Hawke’s Bay Today broke the startling news: Mayors vow to run for top jobs.

The lead paragraph: “The twin cities’ incumbent matriarch and patriarch will again contest this year’s respective mayoralty races. Mayors Barbara Arnott and Lawrence Yule confirmed they have set their sights on a fourth term in office.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m soooo relieved to hear this “news.” The suspense was killing me. Yeah right!

Even if your only “news” source was (god help you) HB Today, you would have already read this news in the paper’s report of 15 August 2009, under the headline One super council for all, which reported Mayor Yule announcing: “I will stand on the platform that we work towards a unitary council for Hawke’s Bay … if people don’t want it they won’t vote for me,” he said. If he was voted in for a fourth term, he would make it his last for the Hastings council and focus his efforts on amalgamation.”

In case you didn’t get the drift of that statement, HB Today yesterday re-reported of Yule: “He said he would stand primarily on the issue of regional re-organisation.”

Is everyone on the same (front)page now?

Of course, if you missed the August report, you could have picked up HBT on 19 March 2010, when the anxious paper ran a story titled Knives come out for mayor. I think  you can guess the plot line in that one.

Meantime, for months, everyone who’s asked the question of Mayor Arnott has understood her to be standing for re-election.

It’s bad enough that HB Today forced worthy journos to go out and write yesterday’s non-story (I can’t believe the reporters did so voluntarily). More frightening is that some senior editor decided it was front-page news!

I’m not casting aspersions on either mayoral candidate. Good on them for running.

But hopefully HB Today’s coverage of the local elections will become somewhat more timely … and deepen a bit.

Tom Belford

P.S. Here’s a special BayBuzz inside tip to Hawke’s Bay Today for another breaking story. This time you can get ahead of the curve. Aim for, say, August 20 for this one … Speculation grows that mayors will stand for re-election.

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  1. The first thing Mayor Yule said in the HB Toady was, "I am passionate about Hastings."

    I don't know who she or he is, but it sure can't be the Hastings District, as we're all reminded when we drive past the dump site that was once Nelson Park.

  2. As if to add insult to insanity, our local super-scooper just won "Newspaper of the Year (distribution <30,000)" at the Qantas Media Awards. Primarily on the back of last year's 'Napier Seige' coverage.

    Then, reading this morning's online editorial post (I'm not one of the <30,000) they echoed something I have been saying (and writing about here) for years:

    Hello, Qantas Media Awards Judges? Can I have my trophy now, please?

  3. If HB Today wins newspaper of the year how bad can the rest be

    I cancelled it over a year ago stating not to send any more promotional stuff.

    In this mornings post I get a free Parker pen offer as a valued past subsriber with delivery for 39% less a week at $4:90 plus a $20 advertising voucher.

    That dosnt sound like a thriving paper when it takes bribes too entice readers. It sounds like a sinking ship. Who judges these things?

  4. now come on guys. if u don't at least buy it on a Monday (when it contains something i hope's worth reading) i'd be out of a job. :)

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