Our latest BayBuzz Digest – our Special Election Edition – will be published this week. Watch for it in your letterbox, or find a copy at cafes, shops and libraries throughout the area. All of our special Digest coverage of the candidates and parties, as described below, is available now on the BayBuzz website as well.

In our Candidate Q&A’s, you can see how local MP candidates for the Green, Labour and National parties respond to a series of questions posed by BayBuzz. Issues covered include the economy, health, the environment, regional concerns, and overall approach to governance.

BayBuzz invited the candidates to reply in writing to a series of similar, but not identical, questions. We then used their responses as the basis of follow-up interviews with each candidate. We have published their written responses verbatim, along with occasional commentary where our interviews shed further light on the candidates’ positions or philosophy. BayBuzz observations are clearly identified as such.

After the candidate Q&A’s, you’ll find a chart comparing the candidates’ positions on five contentious regional issues – Ocean Beach development, the regional sports park, extending the Napier airport runway, woodburners and clean air, and dealing with pitbulls.

In our “Pundits” section, three politically aware and vocal commentators to share their thinking on the upcoming election, and specifically, how they intend to vote. Making the case for the Greens is environmental advocate Dave Head. For Labour, former Hastings Councillor Dean Hyde. And for National, Regional Councillor Ewan McGregor.

We asked three other pundits to share their observations about three issues on the minds of many Hawke’s Bay voters – health, the environment, and law & order. Addressing health is former Napier Councillor Robin Gwynn. Focusing on the environment is Iain Maxwell, HB Regional Manager of Fish & Game. And speaking to law & order is writer Mark Sweet.

Finally, Brendan Webb, a veteran journalist many of you will recognize, and our perennial “house grouch” Tim Gilbertson, offer their idiosyncratic views of the election. As best I can tell, their message is … “a pox on both your houses!”

All in all, plenty of material at BayBuzz to inform and – no doubt – enflame you! I guarantee you won’t agree with all you read. By all means, visit the website if you want to sound off with your own views! But keep to the issues please … personal vilification is uncool and unwanted.

I welcome your feedback on our election coverage.


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1 Comment

  1. Good on you for organising and collating this Tom, but I have two critical comments.

    1. Why did you not include Derek Fox, the Maori Party candidate? Surely we should hear what the party representing tangata whenua has to say on these issues! It's like Maori are invisible yet Maori Party MPs have played a significant role in Parliament and their candidate deserves to be heard along with the others. Is it not too late to quiz him also?

    (Of course if National gets in with over 50% they will be gone as will MMP and we'll be back to the FPP system which enables the winners to rule like a one-party state.)

    2. Why do you have two MPs or wannabe MPs from the same party answering the same questions? Did you expect to see any differences in their answers? We all know the party vote is most important so why not just get the "party line" on these issues – coz that's what you've got, times two for each party!

    Otherwise – apart from the above omissions and repetitions, thanks for a good read!

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