Councillor disappoints with Orewa no-show

Auckland councillor for the Albany ward, Wayne Walker.
Auckland councillor for the Albany ward, Wayne Walker.

Auckland Council member Wayne Walker left 30 Orewa pensioners disappointed yesterday when he failed to show at their meeting to hear Mayoral candidate John Palino and five candidates for the Albany Ward.

Councillor Walker and John Watson, Hibiscus & Bays Local Board member - running mates on the Putting People First ticket - both missed the meeting in the reception lounge of the Evelyn Page Retirement Village, where Dame Malvina Major and High Commissioner to London Dr Lockwood Smith once sang for residents.

The Whangaparaoa candidates were billed to be at the morning tea meeting and the MC for the meeting, John Kirikiri, said no apologies for absence were received.

A resident, Captain Tudor Owen, said he was astounded by the no show.

"We like to hear the person who represents this area.

"I thought the representative was coming and for there to be no sign of an apology, it astounds me.

It's a slur."

When asked to comment, Mr Walker said he knew about the meeting.

However, no direct invitation came to him from the village and instead the meeting was organised by rival candidate Brent Robinson.

"I've been to every meeting I've been invited to when it's been a formal invitation."

Earlier in the election campaign, he had attended a candidates' meeting at the Maygrove Retirement Village in Orewa and a further meeting organised by Orewa Residents & Ratepayers Association.

Mr Robinson said he confirmed the meeting verbally and by email to Mr Walker a week ago and had asked him to pass the information on to Mr Watson.

Other candidates, apart from Mr Palino, who spoke were Hibiscus & Bays board chair Julia Parfitt; the board member for both Upper Harbour and the East Coast Bays Lisa Whyte, and Mr Robinson, an Albany businessman.

"These are all valuable voters and all of us could see how grateful they were to get a chance to meet a person rather than a billboard and a 150-word statement," said Mr Robinson.

"If we are going to win, we have to chase down every vote and shake as many hands as possible."

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