Received from RMN
Tue, 20 Sep 2016 at 11:47 p.m.
The South Dunedin candidates meeting was a quiet affair tonight. The expected angry hordes of South Dunedinites did not materialise.
The hypocrisy rating was through the roof for many candidates who sought to present their Dunedin South Credentials in their 2 minute introduction. Many claimed to have grown up there but strangely, no one felt quite enough of the love that they earnestly proclaimed for SD to actually live there.
Standouts for the evening were Wayne Idour, Abe Gray, Barry Timmings, and Lee Vandervis. Mr Vandervis gatecrashed the party, he was there as a spectator but several members of the audience could not wait until tomorrow and called him to the stage several times. Each time he was cogent, mayor-like and with an impressive grasp of detail. Mr Idour told the audience that a lot of the current council needed to go and that they had wasted huge amounts on pet vanity projects. Say what you mean, Wayne! He also was acid in his criticism of the “devils triangle” of the Council, University and the Police who he said all had an interest in pretending the student drinking culture did not exist. Mr Timmings who some allege is only there as a mayoral candidate to split the vote to ensure the return of Mr Cull actually eclipsed Mr Cull tonight. Mr Timmings was confident and relaxed and related well to an audience that would not be his natural constituents. On his present form Mr Timmings may end up taking more votes from Mr Cull than splitting the vote among the challengers. In contrast Mr Cull while confident, refused to make an unreserved apology for the flooding, was aggressive to a questioner regarding the council debt levels, and when asked to propose what he felt would be an acceptable debt level made the surprising statement that he would like it to be zero. Mr Gray who established his Cannabis Museum in South Dunedin was the best of the candidates when explaining how he saw the future growth of Dunedin, “Converting stories into legends” and focusing on the unique aspects about the city. He was entertaining and informative when explaining why startups should not rely on the DCC. Mr Gray has the weight of someone who had actually established a new venture in South Dunedin, rather than just produce platitudes.
The weakest performers of the evening were Mr Hall and Mr Acklin. Mr Hall told the meeting what a wonderful job council was doing to reduce council debt, which Mr Vandervis then calmly demolished in about 30 seconds with the facts. Mr Acklin said nothing of substance whatsoever in his introduction and after that was invisible.
Best howler of the evening was Mr Staynes claiming that the Council had not indulged in any vanity or pet projects. Cycleways, anybody?
█ Tonight (Wed 21 September), the second candidate meeting will be hosted by the Greater South Dunedin Community Group at the historic Mayfair Theatre, 6:30pm – 9pm.
For more details, see press release South Dunedin to grill election candidates this week via Scoop.co.nz
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.