Hawke's Bay Today is focusing on the general election next month because we realise that it is important that our readers have all the information they need to make an informed choice.
We have given, and will continue to give, insight into the candidates and the issues, as well as taking the political temperature of the region. One way we have done this is to send one of our reporters, Harrison Christian, from Wairoa to Dannevirke, conducting what we have dubbed a one-man poll.
It has not been a scientific poll, but it certainly has given us a glimpse of the political mood out there. Some of the issues that came to the fore were the economy, jobs, the Ruataniwha Dam and amalgamation. Speaking to Harrison last night, he told me that the general feeling out there was that Hawke's Bay was being left behind.
Overwhelmingly, he also found that people have become disillusioned with politicians in the wake of the Nicky Hager Dirty Politics book. Either people had been turned off the bigger parties or politics in general. Mistrust of politicians appears to be high.
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Fair or unfair, this is the sentiment out there and the candidates would do well to heed the voice of the people and focus on the issues that are important to those living in this region. People also want to know the values candidates stand for.
On Saturday Hawke's Bay Today will run a very revealing list of answers the candidates have given to some pertinent questions we put to them. Hopefully these answers will enable readers to decide on who to vote for.
The choice is yours.