Candidates Korero event a civilised affair

Civilised and punctual, last night's Environment Southland Candidates Korero event had only one candidate go over the allotted talk-time.

The evening offered the opportunity for Invercargill-Rakiura constituency candidates to answer three questions given to them 24 hours earlier, as well as four audience questions.

The three questions that allowed for preparation time were asked by Southland Federated Farmers, South Coast Environment Society and the Southland Chamber of Commerce.

Ten of the 13 candidates attended. Each was was given five minutes in total to answer questions on the Essential Freshwater draft proposal, local food security, diversity and availability issues, as well as funding problems regarding tackling issues such as Three Waters (drinking water, storm water and waste water) and adaptation to climate change.

Common themes among the answers included the opinion management of waterways, particularly in farming, was necessary.

Where candidates differed was on how that would be best managed.

After a short break, candidates were invited to answer four questions from the public. One emotional attendee asked where she could take her children to swim safely and stay healthy, as she did when growing up.

Most candidates offered local swimming spots - and provided the information Environment Southland monitors these sites and posts their swimming suitability online.

Other questions included whether candidates supported the School Strike 4 Climate - which had a mixed response - and whether candidates would lobby central government to "beef up'' the land sustainability team to handle farm plans, and whether there was anything done by the council to support people who try to keep land in good condition, including planting and restoring land and wetland to a healthier condition.


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