Mayoral candidates called on to walk the talk

Dunedin mayoral candidates answer questions from the audience about their plans for South Dunedin...
Dunedin mayoral candidates answer questions from the audience about their plans for South Dunedin during the second mayoral forum hosted at the Nations Church last night. The event was organised by the Greater South Dunedin and St Clair action groups. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
The time for talking is over; it is time for real action.

That was the message from Greater South Dunedin Action Group chairman Ray Macleod to the people vying to be the next mayor of Dunedin at a candidate forum last night.

About 120 residents sat in the Nations Church in King Edward St and listened intently as all 14 candidates explained what they would do for South Dunedin if they were elected.

Mr Macleod told the audience the South Dunedin community needed to become a commanding force in the city's politics and direction, or else it would continue to be neglected.

Issues canvassed during the two-hour event included climate change, sand erosion, council debt levels, offshore oil and gas exploration and managed retreat.

One question from the audience asked the candidates to explain their plans to stop or control the erosion at the St Clair and St Kilda beaches.

Rebuilding the groynes at Ocean Beach was favoured by Cr Andrew Whiley and Jules Radich.

Cr Aaron Hawkins said he was not a civil engineer so would rely on the advice provided to the council, as did Cr Christine Garey, who said there was no reason the city could not be a world leader in fighting erosion.

Scout Barbour-Evans also said they were not an expert and would rely on advice before making any decisions.

Cr Lee Vandervis said there were already simple, cost-effective solutions that the council could try - such as pumping sand back on to the beach - as well as more expensive but proven fixes.

Richard Seager said trying to defeat the ocean was difficult and probably not worth attempting as sea levels continued to rise.

Cr Rachel Elder said there needed to be more investment from the Government.

Mandy Mayhem-Bullock said the issue was not so much erosion as how much the area had been altered from its natural state, and Cr O'Malley said the council's costal engineer should be given a chance to develop a plan, which could include groynes.

Consulting the community on their preferred option was raised by Finn Campbell and Bob Barlin.


There are two larger erosion issues Cr Lee Vandervis needs to address before hand if he is elected mayor.
1. Council staff leaving. The CEO to start with.
2. His agressive style / comments hampering longterm hard earnt bussiness arrangements. No amount of apoligies are going to cut it with China after one of his comments like the one with the Uni students last week.

Plain speaking is best done unemotionally.

Once again all Cr Lee Vandervis can offer a meeting is nothing just keep on keeping on you were the erosion of the meeting 14 candidates 13 good answers then along came Lee good on ya for tring mate .

As for asking Lee calm down lol he thrives on yelling and making woman quit shows he is a big man. But dont you worry mate the young ones will forget you like last weeks number 1 song

Storm clouds in the local, national and global economy.
Lets elect an agressive mayor.... said no one ever...
Safe hands needed.

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter