The second round of the meet the candidates forum was as well attended as the first leaving standing room only at the Whanganui War memorial Centre.

Fourteen candidates made their pitch with many introducing themselves in te reo Maori and Bevan Johnston added Chinese and Japanese greetings at the beginning of his four minute speech.

Once again there were recurring themes about attracting more business, growing the economy and several of the candidates talked about the need to take better care of struggling and vulnerable people in Whanganui.

The candidates who spoke last night were Ross Fallen, Doreen Hardy, Kyle Dalton, Craig Falconer (aka Frog), Stan Hood, Bevan Johnston, Hadleigh Reid, Phillip Reweti, Jill Sheehy, Rory Smith, Alan Taylor, Matthew Urry, Rob Vinsen and Graeme Young.

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Rob Vinsen delayed the start of his speech to acknowledge the presence of Mayor Annette Main in the audience and congratulated her on leaving the Whanganui District Council in better shape than it was in when she was elected six years ago.

A number of candidates injected humour into their speeches but Falconer elicited the most laughs from the audience.
He informed the gathering that he does not actually live in Whanganui but "loiters in a tent in Waverley."

The candidate had brought his own custom-made podium along to the forum but was asked to leave it in the foyer.
Full coverage of last night's meeting will appear in tomorrow's Chronicle.