Candidates for a seat on Napier City Council overwhelmingly agree the city's controversial $41 million aquatic centre decision needs to re-consulted on.

About 400 residents of Napier crammed into St Columba's Church to listen to candidates for Napier City Council share their ideas at a Grey Power meet the candidates meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Candidates were asked to speak on two specific topics - water and the Aquatic Centre.

Of the 21 council candidates who attended the meeting, the majority supported re-consulting with the community over the Aquatic centre decision, as well as removing chlorine from the water.


Onekawa-Tamatea Ward candidate Richard McGrath joked the other candidates must have picked up his flyer on the way through the door.

"I've got the same list of priorities as everybody else has got, I'd argued that they all read my pamphlet on the way in."

While many candidates agreed council needed to look to remove chlorine from the water, many said it had to be done so safely.

Candidate Sally Crown said there needed to be research an analysis on how to remain chlorine free safely, as the government looks to centralise control of the water.

Mayoral candidate Steve Gibson, a former Manawatu District Councillor and police officer, was the first to speak.

He believed rates needed to rise only at inflation or less.

"We can't afford, on a fixed income to go any higher."

He said the council did need to spend money on water infrastructure.


He also supported keeping the aquatic centre at its current site, comparing it to a pool in Fielding which was upgraded for $6 million, compared to the $41.3 million currently budgeted towards the Prebensen Dr site.

Mayoral candidate Chris Tremain said he would establish a Mayoral Taskforce, to expedite the process of cleaning the water pipes to restore water clarity for residents in Napier.

"In addition the Taskforce will consider solutions, and the costs, to restore our network to chlorine free."

He said the current location of the aquatic centre, serves the community well.

He said other priorities were cleaning the estuary, planting a tree corridor from Bayview to Taradale, a new library, new council chambers, transitioning the council to electric vehicles, and championing business growth.

The third mayoral candidate to speak, Kirsten Wise, appeared to have the support of the crowd.

She said she wanted to fix the disconnect between council and the community.

"I will lead a council which actively engages with out community."

She said there were five steps she wanted to take to fix the water, including meeting with Christchurch City Council who are currently removing water identifying leaks in the network and fixing them, and conducting rigorous daily testing.

She said she had led the charge, as a current councillor, on re-consulting on the aquatic centre project.

Other issues which were raised by candidates included current library facilities, re-instating the war memorial and changing the culture at Napier City Council.