Mayoral candidates discuss elder concerns

By Victoria White

1 comment
Hastings mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood speaks as his opponents, incumbent Lawrence Yule (left) and councillor Adrienne Pierce (right) look on at a Flaxmere Age Concern debate yesterday.
Hastings mayoral candidate Guy Wellwood speaks as his opponents, incumbent Lawrence Yule (left) and councillor Adrienne Pierce (right) look on at a Flaxmere Age Concern debate yesterday.

Those vying for Hastings' top job shared their vision for the future with Flaxmere's older population yesterday.

Around 50 people gathered in the Flaxmere Age Concern branch yesterday morning to hear from the three Hastings mayoral candidates -Guy Wellwood, Adrienne Pierce, and current mayor Lawrence Yule .

Flaxmere Age Concern interim chairperson Tui Walker said it was good for members to know what the candidates hoped to achieve, as it would help them know who to vote for.

Neil Hatcher, who has organised the event many times, said older people sometimes were not able to attend other mayoral candidate meetings.

"So we like to get [the candidates] out here to meet the people of Flaxmere," he said.

As well as pitching their policies, and vision for Hastings, yesterday the candidates also spoke on what they felt were the issues facing the older generation, and how they would work to solve them.

Ms Pierce explained how those in the room were affected by council - through the services provided - and how their needs were different to residents of other Hastings suburbs.

"Although central government is elected to deal with issues relevant to the whole of New Zealand, I think it's the local councils that affect our lives on a daily basis more," she said.

As the oldest candidate, Mr Wellwood said while there was always more to be done in terms of social services, "Hastings is a pretty good place to grow old".

If elected, he would ensure concerns of older people - such as health, legal issues, safety and security - were addressed.

Mr Yule cited what the current council had achieved in the suburb, such as the Flaxmere assist programme, and improvements to Flaxmere park, and what he hoped to achieve for the area's residents if re-elected.

He also discussed the "constant battle" older people faced with the cost of living, and how he was trying to get the rates rebate system reviewed.

Water quality was a topic of contention yesterday, however it was sidelined by other issues faced by the audience - with candidates answering questions, and proposing solutions to the development of Flaxmere, and concerns around the Swansea village flats.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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