A tough battle looms for seats on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council in the October local government elections, with all constituencies being contested.
After close of nominations for the Local Elections 2016 at midday today, Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Electoral Officer, Leeanne Hooper, released the nominations for the five constituencies.
In the Central Hawke's Bay Constituency, incumbent and Ruataniwha Dam supporter Debbie Hewitt will battle it out with former co-chairman of CHB Forest & Bird, Dan Elderkamp, who does not support the construction of the dam.
The Wairoa constituency will see current council chairman Fenton Wilson face a challenge from Mahia resident Dean Whaanga.
In the Hastings Constituency, which last election saw a shake up of councillors, first term councillors Tom Belford, Rex Graham and Rick Barker, will face competition for the three seats from current Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers and Tim Gilbertson, who stood in the CHB constituency last election and was defeated by Ms Hewitt. Mr Gilbertson is a former Central Hawke's Bay mayor and councillor, a former Hawke's Bay regional councillor and a former chairman of Waipukurau Federated Farmers.
Contesting the three Napier Constituency seats will be incumbent and former Napier Mayor Alan Dick, environmental lawyer Martyin Williams, Taranaki Regional councillor and Napier resident Moira Irving, former councillor Neil Kirton and Green Party member Paul Bailey, who is anti dam.
In the Ngaruroro Constituency, incumbent Peter Beaven will contest the seat with relative unknown Dan Ross.
Nominations for the region's 5 constituencies are:
Central Hawke's Bay Constituency (1 position)
Hastings Constituency (3 position)
Napier Constituency (3 position)
Ngaruroro Constituency (1 position)
Wairoa Constituency (1 position)
Voting papers for the local elections will be sent in September with voting open on 15 September and closing at midday 8 October.
The candidate list can be viewed on www.hbrc.govt.nz, search #candidates.