There are four candidates for Napier City mayor in the upcoming local body election. But the two frontrunners, at this stage, are city councillor Kirsten Wise and ex-MP Chris Tremain.

Wise is a director of Black and White Accounting and Tremain represented Napier in Parliament for the National Party.

Local Focus asked the pair about climate change, Ahuriri Estuary pollution, consultation, drinking water, and to improve the CBD as a retail and entertainment precinct.

On climate change, both agreed that Napier was particularly vulnerable to rising sea-levels and that attention was needed to protect low-lying areas. But Tremain went further, committing to help solve the problems in the first place, by moving towards making Napier City Council carbon neutral.

Wise said she would fast-track programmes to clean up Ahuriri Estuary because the current situation was "completely unacceptable". Tremain said the pollution was a complex problem that would take time "but I am committed to getting it resolved".

Wise said estuary pollution would be "top priority along with our drinking water". Napier's drinking water has been plagued with discolouration since chlorination was introduced.

"It's disgusting that parts of our community have continuing dirty water issues," she said.

For Napier City to return to chlorine-free water it would need to be "fully investigated". She said the $41 million for a proposed aquatic centre on Prebensen Drive would be "far better spent on our estuary or water supply".

Tremain said a taskforce to look at drinking water was his "number one priority".

Tremain referenced his record of bringing people together to discuss the Foreshore and Seabed controversy, when asked about Napier City Council's reputation for poor project consultation with ratepayers.

Wise said there would be no lack of consultation "under my watch" for council projects.

Also running for mayor are retailer David Hanna, and local motelier and former Manawatū District councillor Steve Gibson.

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