Editorial: We spoke, now they'd better listen

By Andrew Austin

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Tom Belford may pip Kevin Rose at the post.
Tom Belford may pip Kevin Rose at the post.

Politics is a fickle game.

On Saturday, incumbent Kevin Rose was looking like he may just hang on to claim the last seat on the Hawke's Bay Regional Council. By Monday all had changed and it soon became apparent that his rival Tom Belford may pip him at the post.

Politics isn't for the faint-hearted, that's for sure.

Hopefully we will know by 4pm today whether Mr Belford has secured the seat.

It will be a remarkable revolution if he has. Lobby group Grower Action Group (GAG) was very clear before the elections that it was upset with the current councillors and wanted wholesale changes. The growers endorsed four candidates - Belford, Rex Graham, Rick Barker and Peter Beaven. Graham, Barker and Beaven were all elected on Saturday. With Belford in the mix, they form a powerful force on the council. GAG spokesman Paul Paynter said the election of their candidates was a clear message from the community that they had been dissatisfied with the way the council had operated.

He predicted there would be a "cultural change" with the council engaging better with community groups.

Some people felt GAG used "dirty tactics" to achieve its aims, but I say that's just politics.

The people spoke and now we have new councillors who need to show what they are capable of.

As supportive as GAG has been of its candidates, if they don't deliver, they will be the ones being ousted at the next election.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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