Tauranga residents will this week have the opportunity to meet those aiming to be elected to the Tauranga City Council.

With election day fast approaching, October 8, two evenings were being held this week to give Tauranga residents the chance to ask wannabe Tauranga City Council mayors and councillors questions.

The events, hosted by Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, were open to the general public with the first being held tonight at Tauranga Art Gallery from 5pm.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce engagement coordinator Anne Pankhurst said the chamber was encouraging people to know their potential civic leaders.


"We have held these events for the last four elections. We encourage not only the business community but the wider community to attend, ask those burning questions, and learn about their potential leaders," she said.

The Chamber hoped to get about 150 through the door of the art gallery.

Ms Pankhurst hoped Tauranga residents attending the meeting would take gain greater awareness, understanding, and potentially meet their future leaders.

"While there are guidelines to run the event on, there is plenty of opportunity to meet and talk to the candidates.

"Engagement in the democratic process is very important since council has a large part to play in your everyday life, from rubbish collection to clean water, and so understanding who will be making those decisions is equally important.

"A voter may have a set view but on listening to the different approaches of each candidate they may see that differently and like the way they think that potential leader could work in.

"The voter turnout has been poor in the last decade or so, and so we encourage people to at least vote, to have a say in their future, and if you come to one of these meetings and meet those candidates the voter may feel more inclined to vote."

Mrs Pankhurst said it was important for Tauranga residents to use their democratic right to vote.

"If these meetings help the voter make their choice then we the Chamber has played a part in a very important aspect of our community."

Today, Tauranga residents had the chance to meet the potential Tauranga City Council mayors from 5 to 7pm at Tauranga Art Gallery.

On Thursday, locals will have the same chance to meet potential Tauranga City Councillors from 5 to 7pm at Tauranga Art Gallery.

Questions would be taken randomly from the hat, and candidates would get an equal opportunity to answer them.