BayBuzz brings a particular orientation to covering the candidates in this year’s local body elections. We focus on the non-incumbents … the challengers.
Only for the simple reason that the incumbents – some of whom have served 9, 12, or 15 years – have all the advantages going into the campaign. They’ve had heaps of media exposure over their years, pictures of their faces smiling at us regularly in official Council publications and websites, rivers of Council-issued media releases, invitations to all the “be seen” events.
And even plenty of time to actually have accomplished something for which they might deserve public acclaim … despite the protests of some, like Regional Councillor Ewan McGregor and Hastings Councillor Kevin Watkins, who say it takes two terms (i.e., six years!) just to learn the job.
With all this exposure, if a given incumbent representing you does not already have your vote – right now, even before you’ve see your voting papers and learnt about the challengers – then you might be saying to yourself … they probably haven’t done a very compelling job!
So let’s look at the challengers.
BayBuzz writers Keith Newman, Katherine Edmond, Mark Sweet and myself interviewed seventeen challengers to write these profiles for the September issue of BayBuzz Digest — all the Hastings Council challengers, the Regional Council challengers for the Hastings and Napier Wards (BayBuzz’s coverage area), and the mayoral challenger in Napier. [We would have done more from Napier, but NCC, unlike other councils, didn’t see fit to identify candidates until after the official nomination window closed.]
So meet the challengers …
- Ru Collin – Heretaunga
- Richard McKenzie – Heretaunga
- Des Ratima – Heretaunga
- Scott Henderson – Havelock North
- Adele Mohi-McGoverin – Havelock North
- David Macintosh – Kahuraniki
- Jacoby Poulain – Flaxmere
- Tracee Te Huia – Flaxmere
- Sandra Hazlehurst – Hastings
- Daniel Hoskins – Hastings
- Simon Nixon – Hastings [Profiled as a mayoral candidate in June Digest]
- John Roil – Hastings
- Kevin Smith – Hastings
- Michelle Pyke – Mayoral and At-large Councillor