Hawke's Bay Today

will be hosting two mayoral debates this month - one in Hastings and the other in Central Hawke's Bay.

Hawke's Bay Today editor Andrew Austin said he was pleased the newspaper could host the two debates.

The first will be held at 6pm tomorrow at Karamu High School on Windsor Ave, Hastings.

The three candidates for the Hastings mayoralty - current Hastings district councillor Adrienne Pierce, current Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and local lawyer Guy Wellwood - will square off against each other in the debate, to be moderated by Mr Austin.

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There will be a gold-coin entry, with proceeds going to the Hastings Women's Refuge.

Mr Austin said the newspaper wanted to ensure its readers and voters 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.

The second debate will be be held on Tuesday at CHB Municipal Theatre in Waipawa.

Doors open at 5.45pm, with the event at 6pm. The debate will be between current Central Hawke's Bay District councillor Sally Butler, Hinerua resident Gerard Pain and Waipukurau businesswoman Alex Walker. The gold-coin entry proceeds will go to the CHB branch of Red Cross.

Mr Austin said the debate was being held in conjunction with community newspaper The CHB Mail.

"With the incumbent Peter Butler deciding not to seek re-election, this has left the way open for one of the three candidates to step up and claim the mayoralty.

"Debates are an important way in which voters can find out what the candidates are made of.

"We will certainly put the tough questions to the three contenders," Mr Austin said.

In both debates 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 or CHB mayoral debate in the subject line.