Dates have been set for two of Rotorua's more popular meet the candidates functions - that will help the public decide who to vote for in October's Rotorua Lakes Council elections.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce and Grey Power Rotorua will each hold two functions in the coming weeks starting with the chamber's Audience with the Candidates event at the Novotel this Tuesday.

The chamber is also holding a Mayoral Candidates Debate on September 13 at the same venue.

Both chamber events are supported by the Rotorua Daily Post.


Chamber chief executive Darrin Walsh said he ran an "apolitical organisation" and avoided giving political comment because he could not be seen to be promoting individual candidates.

"That is not to say we do not look on with great interest as to the policies and skill set each and every candidate brings to the table.

"As a business organisation, we are very keen to see policies that enable business and economic growth within our region."

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He said Tuesday's event would be a chance for local business people to tell all candidates, mayoral and council, what they wanted to see from them if they were to be elected.

The event will be free for the general public to attend.

Candidates would not be offered a chance to talk but, "the intention is that each and every candidate will go away knowing what Rotorua business owners see as the key drivers to economic and business growth", Mr Walsh said.

The Mayoral Candidates Debate would allow candidates to put forward their policies as well as answer questions from the floor.

Grey Power Rotorua president Russell Hallam said time permitting all candidates would get a shot at presenting their views to the audience at the organisation's two free events next month.

"And depending on numbers we may have some questions from the floor. We want to be able to fit it into an hour and a half.

"Hopefully they are all charismatic enough to hold people's attention.

"For the mayoral event they will introduce themselves and there will be a few prepared questions followed by more questions from the floor, as there will be a much more manageable number."

Mr Hallam encouraged everyone to get enrolled and make sure their vote counted during election time.

"Everyone should take an interest and have their say in the leadership of our city."

Meet your candidates
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce

Audience with the Candidates: August 16, 5pm at the Novotel Rotorua. Free.
Mayoral Candidate Debate: September 13, midday at the Novotel Rotorua. $25 for members, $35 non-members.

To register, visit, or call (07) 346 3657.

Grey Power Rotorua

Mayoral candidates: September 12, 1.30pm at the Bainbridge Centre, Old Taupo Rd
Council candidates: September 19, 1.30pm at the Bainbridge Centre, Old Taupo Rd