Key issues set to spur lively debate

Expect a clash of ideas and styles when the nine contenders fighting to be Dunedin's next mayor square off in public later today.

Incumbent Dave Cull will face a challenge from eight rivals at today's Otago Chamber of Commerce/Otago Daily Times 2013 Dunedin Mayoral Forum.

The event will be held at Otago Museum's Hutton Theatre, beginning at 4pm, and chaired by ODT editor Murray Kirkness and chamber chief executive John Christie.

By late yesterday, eight of the nine candidates had confirmed they would take part, with only Steve McGregor yet to confirm he would attend.

The debate will canvass key issues facing the city, including the best ways to promote regional economic development and how to keep rates down while retaining essential services.

Mr Cull faces challenges from former Act New Zealand MP Hilary Calvert, Kevin Dwyer, former United Future candidate Pete George, of Your Dunedin, Green Party candidate Aaron Hawkins, Olivier Lequeux, Mr McGregor, Cr Lee Vandervis and Andrew Whiley.

Today's debate is part of a series being staged around Otago in the lead-up to local body elections.

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