As Amalgamation D-day (September 15) looms, both sides are doing everything they can to tell people how to vote.
Voting papers have started going out and it won't be long before we know what the region's future will be. I have lost count of the number of people in both the pro and anti camps who have told me that they can't wait for it all to be over.
Until then the battle for the hearts and minds of voters will probably only get fiercer.
Yesterday Hawke's Bay Today ran an advertising feature wrapped around the newspaper. The advertising feature was paid for by the pro-amalgamation lobby group A Better Hawke's Bay and had nothing to do with the newspaper's editorial stance or news coverage.
This newspaper has stated that it will not take a position on amalgamation and we did not deviate from that with yesterday's wrap. We have been fair and impartial in our coverage, regularly giving both sides the opportunity to state their case. As editor I am comfortable that our editorial impartiality has not been compromised. The front page of the wrap clearly stated that it was an advertising feature and that the full edition of Hawke's Bay Today was inside.
Both sides of the debate are entitled to spend money. A Better Hawke's Bay chose to do so, but anti-amalgamation groups are welcome to do the same. Editorially, this newspaper has tried to get as much amalgamation information out there so that our readers can make an informed decision in this important milestone in our region's history.
We will not tell you how to vote, but what we will do, no matter which way the vote goes, is hold your elected representatives accountable for delivering on their promises.