Many of the 31 candidates in the running for Tauranga City Council have failed to show for one of the first public forum evenings.

A livestreaming feed on the Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page is streaming the evening and what candidates have to say.

You can view the livestreaming by clicking here.

Among those who were the first to speak at the evening, which began at 5pm at Tauranga Art Gallery are Kelvin Clout, Mark Wassung, Noel Peterson and Jesse Misa.

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When asked what understanding candidates had of what they as potential councillors could and couldn't do, there were several answers.

Mr Clout said an elected member needed to be able to influence and persuade their colleagues that their ideas were best for the city.

Mark Wassung introduced himself as a ''newbie'', and said projects such as the civic heart were ''rather mediocre and disapointeing''.

''It really needs a rethink. I felt I needed to stand up for architects and designers,'' Mr Wassung said.

Jesse Misa said the role of an elected member was to serve people and to listen to them.

Councillors also had to advocate for the people they represented and to be accountable, to which he received a strong applause.