Local elections 2019

Candidates for the region's three mayoralties and the Taranaki District Health Board as well as for council seats at one of the three district councils or at the regional council tables have been busy attending a series of Meet the Candidates evenings around the region.

Last week, the Stratford Press attended four Meet the Candidates evenings, including the Stratford one organised by the Stratford Press team, and videos of all four meetings are on the Stratford Press Facebook page.

During the events, candidates have faced a grilling from the public over a wide range of issues, from climate change and the youth voice, to what can be done about gang presence in the towns and how the council can work with schools to get the school leavers businesses need.

A common theme amongst the meetings has been the decisions made around the Yarrow Stadium refit and how it will be paid for.

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Some candidates have argued it isn't an election issue, because the decisions have been made; others have argued it is an election issue because people still feel passionately about it.

New faces versus experience has also been under debate, as has the issue of youth representation.

Climate change, education, business growth, affordable housing, rates, facilities, water ... candidates have been challenged about their thoughts on all sorts of issues, and have been put to the test by audiences around the region.

If you want to know what your candidates think, before you vote make sure you ask them. You can also watch the videos of the four meetings the Stratford Press team attended last week.