Candidates vying for one of the eight positions in the Hastings-Havelock North ward of the Hastings District Council had a public meeting at St Andrews Hall last night.

Of the 13 potential candidates, Bayden Barber, Geraldine Travers, David Mackintosh, Damon Harvey, Christopher Perley, John Porter and Graeme McHattie were all first timers while Adrienne Pierce, Sandra Hazlehurst, Kevin Watkins, Wayne Bradshaw, Simon Nixon and Malcom Dixon were hoping for another term around the table.

Bayden Barber stepped up first and said he wanted to build a place where people can live, work and play. "I want it to be safe so a key goal for me is to fix the water. Once the inquiry is back I will ensure what they suggest is implemented."

Hastings Girls' High School principal Geraldine Travers said she was born to serve and would love to explore the future of Hastings. "I have a key understanding of youth in Hastings and what is at the heart of the issues. I am passionate as the young are the ones that will live in the district long after us."


David Mackintosh said he wanted to join the council as he felt it was disconnected from the public. "Every opportunity we can I want to include the public so the council is no longer apart from the community. We need to take a step back."

Damon Harvey wanted to see more sustainable tourism with cycling and Te Mata Peak as the real asset, not things like Horse of the Year. "We can market as a cycling district and come together with new energy and positive action."

Christopher Perley said he had a vision for the future and wanted to protect legacies. "It is not just running a machine, we have to talk to people and ask how to make it a better place. I know how to connect with people through my experiences such as being a shearer, forester and builder."

John Porter spoke about morals and how the council needed to fix the sad attitudes. "I want to do one thing, if you have a problem bring it to me. We need to encourage and drive people along."

Graeme McHattie said he wanted to make things happen. "I've worked in construction and would explain to people what we were doing, we need to all work together as a community and encourage local authorities to work with one another."

Adrienne Pierce said her policies were simple and she wanted to go back to basics. "I have no desire for expensive schemes, we need to go back to making sure water, pipes and roads actually work."

Sandra Hazlehurst said she would continue to work hard to make a difference. "My main focus is employment and youth and creating a safer district. We need more for the young, we have achieved a lot but there is still lots more to be done."

Kevin Watkins said we were in a competitive environment where we needed to be smarter, sharper and hungrier than competitors. "We need to offer full time employment and support new high-tech businesses, overseas investment and diversification."

Wayne Bradshaw said the CBD needed to become the heart and soul of the community. "The Albert Square was a positive but we need a lot more and so the community can also see what we are doing. We have missed the boat and need to catch up taking the people with it."

Simon Nixon said he wanted to stop spending money on things that make no difference to our lives. "I don't support money being spent on things like a CBD hotel but I do support increasing job opportunities."

Malcom Dixon wanted to concentrate on the positives, as those who focused on the negatives were not worthy of a vote. "We need to find solutions, not blame others. Graeme Avery would not put his money in to the regional sports park if he knew Hastings wouldn't deliver."