Mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood uses social media to listen to what matters to Hastings

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Hastings mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood has gone online to ask  what the biggest issues are in Hastings. Photo/Supplied
Hastings mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood has gone online to ask what the biggest issues are in Hastings. Photo/Supplied

Hastings mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood has jumped on social media to discover what issues are most important to Hastings people.

Keeping in line with his campaign message of collaborative leadership he launched an online survey on his Facebook page and website asking what the biggest issues are in Hastings and what people loved most about the city and district.

Mr Wellwood said they made the decision to keep the questionnaire simple and to the point so the public could tell him as much or as little as they wanted.

"As with all aspects in my campaign, I want to look at what needs to be improved, as well as what people believe to be the best things about this great district. With positivity we can make some real and substantial changes in Hastings, and ensure we retain what's considered to be our strengths."

Mr Wellwood was eager to see how powerful this low-cost and simple survey could be in terms of reaching a wide range of the population without spending millions.

"Too often in the past we have seen millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on referendums to understand where the public stands on important issues."

Mayor Lawrence Yule wondered whether Mr Wellwood's social media stance was in response to his own campaign brochures he delivered around the district this week.

In his brochure he had a section titled "people make Hastings" which was a new philosophy enabling people to be more involved with decision making in their community.

"This is a priority for me and will involve a major review of submission processes and more interactive options such as social media and new technologies so that residents can help council with decisions."

Mr Wellwood had also placed a large emphasis on making his policies clear this week.

"Entering into this campaign I had a very clear idea as to what the major issues were for Hastings, and as events have unfolded, some of those issues have become even more pressing. Now, I feel it is hugely important that I take on board as many viewpoints as possible throughout the community."

Through his website and blog the public can see where he stands on a number of key issues in Hastings, and he encourages feedback on all his views.

He said he wanted to be a mayor that worked and listened to all the council, the council staff, the experts and importantly ratepayers and the general public.

The results of the survey would be made public on Mr Wellwood's website and Facebook page before ballots close for the election on Saturday October 8.

Mayoral candidate Adrienne Pierce did not respond to requests for comment.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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