The three candidates vying for the mayoralty of Hastings in October's local government elections will square off in a debate organised by

Hawke's Bay Today

next month.

The debate will be between current Hastings District councillor Adrienne Pierce, current Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule and local lawyer Guy Wellwood and will be held at 6pm on Thursday, September 8, at Karamu High School in Windsor Avenue, Hastings.

Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin will moderate the debate and there will be a gold coin entry, with proceeds going to the Hastings Women's Refuge.

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During the last local government elections the newspaper held mayoral debates in both Hastings and Napier. Last year, two successful debates - on amalgamation and the Ruataniwha Dam respectively - were held in Napier.

Hawke's Bay Today also plans to hold other debates in the run up to the election, with details due shortly.

However, no debate will be held in Napier as incumbent mayor Bill Dalton will be re-elected unopposed.

Mr Austin said the newspaper wanted to ensure that its readers and voters in Hawke's Bay had a chance to hear from the candidates wanting to be mayor of Hastings.

"We are expecting a good crowd of people who want to hear how the candidates plan to run the district's affairs.

"With the gastro crisis fresh in people's minds, I am sure candidates will be asked what they would do to prevent it happening again."

"There are many other questions to be answered so the candidates will have the opportunity to show why they should be mayor," Mr Austin said.

Each candidate will have five minutes to make an opening statement, after which Mr Austin will ask pre-selected questions from Hawke's Bay Today readers. After that, each candidate will have five minutes to give a closing statement.

Readers are invited to email their questions to editor@hbtoday.co.nz. Please put Hastings mayoral debate in the subject line.