Mayoral hopefuls face off

About 200 people heard seven candidates who want to be Waitaki mayor tell them why they should have the role and what they would do about issues facing the community, at a mayoral forum held in the Oamaru Opera House last night.

The Oamaru Mail-organised event was the second chance for voters to hear all candidates at a forum.

With Oamaru solicitor Phil Hope as moderator, candidates Fliss Butcher (55), Jim Hopkins (66), Gary Kircher (49), Greg Smith (30), Eric Spittal (70), Helen Stead (74) and David Wilson (55) each had two minutes to speak about themselves and what they wanted to achieve as mayor.

Each then had one minute to answer questions selected from those submitted by voters.

During the two-hour forum, candidates faced such questions as what the role of mayor should be, their position on council-owned companies such as Whitestone Contracting Ltd, what qualities a new chief executive should have and specific issues such as the location of tea rooms being built overlooking Friendly Bay.

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