The winner’s time for last year’s Southland marathon was 2.31.24. I can’t recall what the weather conditions were like when the race was run.
The point I’m making is the GreyPower meet the candidates meeting chaired by veteran sage and factotum Geoff Piercy felt a bit like running a marathon, and with all the squally showers, gale force winds and all the drama.
A fair bit of wind, some heckling from the sides and a few who didn’t quite know what race they were in.
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The candidates for Environment Southland and the Invercargill City Council were all paraded in front of a near full room at The Ascot Park Hotel so they could dazzle us with their individual wisdom on various matters and attempt to convince the audience on why they were deserving of our votes in next month’s local body elections.
First session was devoted to candidates for Environment Southland. Most accept that the world and it’s climate has changed and continues to change.
Consensus was that old practices like draining the swamps (where have I heard that before?), straightening the rivers and streams can’t be reversed and that ES has to change and even front foot that change to maintain the province as a farming paradise.
Most candidates appear to accept that the Government’s Fresh Water Management Plan will be a useful tool going forward.
A small number of hopefuls pushed the patience of the timer. On the opposite one was extremely brief with his presentation so maybe it all balanced out.
As part of a wider question from the floor, have we reached peak cow?
The answer from those who appeared to know was, yes. Food for thought there.
That’s the first leg of the marathon done. That was easy wasn’t it?
No time for a drink stop, it was turn the corner and into the driving wind and rain.
It was time for candidates for the Invercargill City Council to take the stage,
18 of them by rough count.
It could have been standing room only if everyone turned up.
Two who I believe should’ve been there and weren’t for whatever reason were Ian Pottinger and Lesley Soper.
As Mr Piercy did with the ES candidates, he lodged a couple of grenades into the mix with his take on current goings on or not going on in Invers to get the party started.
Topics like the Museum, Rugby Park, the water tower kept coming round.
The real elephant in the room as it was described was the WasteNet debacle. and how to make the best of a bad situation brought out the passion in several aspirants.
First term Councillor Alex Crackett incurred some wrath from the floor when she tried to express her vision for those affected, those who won’t have jobs and have some meaning taken from their lives.
Ms Crackett tried to make amends later by saying we should do better for these people other than just sorting our rubbish and there are better things out there for them. One got the feeling that this came a bit too late.
To sum up in my view some of the candidates were clear eloquent speakers, others less so .
Some of the candidates came in suits and white shirts, others just casual Tuesday
Some of the candidates are well known, others less so, if at all.
Some knew how to talk to the room, others didn’t.
Some don’t need to go to SpecSavers, but should go to an organisation like Toastmasters
After the starting gun went at 1.30 race was closed at 3.30, well over the winner’s time in last year’s Southland Marathon.
Keep an eye on the whatsoninvers candidates polls to track how your favourites are going.
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