There is much at stake in this year's local body elections.
Having seven candidates standing for the Waitaki mayoralty has turned the contest into a bit of a lottery, making it difficult to pick a likely favourite.
A Dunedin Hospital emergency department specialist and a former midwife are the new faces on the Southern District Health Board.
The first in a series of regional debates involving mayoral candidates at this year's elections are being held in Oamaru and Balclutha next week.
There is only one candidate challenging incumbent Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden, but there are 14 contesting six Wakatipu ward places and seven contesting the Wanaka ward's three.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull extended his victory margin slightly when the Dunedin City Council's final election results were released yesterday.
A Dunedin arts advocacy group hopes to make arts and culture an issue at this year's local government elections.
Two experienced candidates are vying for the Clutha mayoralty - the incumbent, Bryan Cadogan, and deputy mayor Hamish Anderson.
Clutha's two mayoral candidates will face off for the first time outside the council chamber tonight as they seek to win the public's vote ahead of the local body elections in October.
The two candidates for Clutha's mayoralty faced about 60 people gathered for the mayoral forum in Balclutha last night.
Two South Canterbury districts will have new mayors, and the third will not know until after voting closes on October 12.
Dunedin's nine mayoral aspirants did their best to court the tourism sector at their first mayoral candidates forum in the city last night.
It was standing room only in the Opera House Inkbox last night for the second Otago mayoral debate, this time between the seven candidates seeking the Waitaki mayoralty, who faced voters at a good-humoured forum.
There was heckling and applause as Dunedin City Council candidates were divided over oil and gas exploration at the first of a two-night election forum in Opoho last night.
Perhaps they should do a season.
One local body candidate has labelled another ''puerile and childish'' for drawing a cigarette in his mouth on a campaign poster displayed in a shop window, but the artist says it was done openly and in good humour.
Battle lines were drawn as Dunedin's mayoral candidates squared off yesterday over the future of the city and its economy.