Today opens the nominations period for candidates intending to run for our local councils and the District Health Board.

BayBuzz has enormous respect for citizens who take aboard public duties and responsibilities. Effective and responsive public service takes precious time away from officeholders’ families, livelihoods and personal pursuits. And officeholders can expect to bear the brunt of unrelenting public dissatisfactions, whether with or without merit, fairly or unfairly.

So the decision to campaign for office should not be taken lightly.

At the same time, once elected, the officeholder has indeed accepted a huge responsibility to work for the public good in an informed, impartial and, above all, ethical manner.

Therefore, maybe the first thing for every would-be candidate to do before declaring his or her candidacy is to acquaint themselves with the Code of Conduct that applies to their council or board.

After reading it, each candidate should look themselves in the eye and affirm that they can serve unswervingly according to that code. Then, while campaigning, they should make that commitment clear to their electorate.

To make the process of ethical commitment easy to begin for candidates (and voters), we’ve attached a copy of the HDC Code of Conduct here. Download code_conduct.pdf Here is the Napier Council version. Download code_conduct_04.pdf And here is the Regional Council version. Download Policy_Handbook_section__code_of_conduct.pdf

Of course candidates should be elected for more than simply their commitment to ethical service. That’s just the initial price of entry.

BayBuzz will be commenting on other issues we think candidates might address and be judged upon as the election season progresses.

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