Six candidates put their hats in the ring to be mayor of Hastings
Nominations have closed and the names are in, with six people putting themselves forward to lead Hastings District Council, now that long-time incumbent Lawrence Yule has become an MP.
Acting mayor Sandra Hazelhurst, who was Yule's deputy, and councillors Bayden Barber and Simon Nixon are in the running, along with Stuart Perry, Waitawhara Tupaea, and Allister Tosh.
Hazelhurst had been a councillor since 2010, and said providing safe drinking water was her No 1 priority if she got the job. She wanted to create a more vibrant and prosperous city centre and district.
Hazelhurst said she was hard-working and passionate, with an inclusive leadership style that would help build a strong council team.
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Nixon believed it was time for fresh blood in the council, after Yule had been mayor for 16 years.
A councillor for the past seven years, the thing that drove Nixon was economic development, as a means to make Hawke's Bay greater and alleviate social ills suffered by the region.
"More jobs and better pay goes a long way towards making a better community."
Hastings was the largest urban area in the country that did not have some type of tertiary campus, Nixon said. He wanted to see something set up to provide better opportunities for education post secondary school.
Barber said having no incumbent meant people who wanted to see some changes made at the council had an opportunity to make that happen.
A councillor since last year's election, he was passionate about making Hastings the best place to live and do business. He wanted the council to be the easiest to work with, for individuals, and families, and was also keen on sprucing up the CBD.
Like others, water was a huge focus. "I want to make sure Hastings has the cleanest drinking water in New Zealand."
Perry ran for the district council in the last election, and said when looking at the "millions wasted over the water fiasco" there had to be accountability at the top.
His decision to stand was driven by the anger ratepayers had for the poor decision-making processes in the council.
At 19, Tupaea was the youngest running, and said he wanted to challenge the current paradigm, that influence, money, or life experience was required to represent the district.
Tosh did not respond to requests for comment.
The by-election is also to replace Havelock-Hastings councillor Adrienne Pierce, who stood down from the council in August to run for National in Palmerston North.
Voting papers will be sent out early in November, with election day on November 24.