Community & Environment

Hamilton leader hopefuls should ‘get on the bus’

Those wanting a seat at Hamilton City Council are being urged to “get on the bus” for the sake of the city.

The Council is hosting two free bus tours in early August exclusively for candidates standing in the city elections. The three-hour tours will start off by covering key election information before highlighting the challenges, priorities and opportunities facing the city. Media representatives have also been invited.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Richard Briggs, will lead both tours and anticipates “well-informed” candidates will want to be on board. Tours are being held on a Wednesday and a Saturday to try to accommodate everyone.

Mr Briggs will be joined by Council senior staff for a “free and frank” discussion about the decisions candidates will face over the next three-year term as well as bigger issues facing the city.

“These tours are an opportunity for candidates to really understand what’s ahead, and the role the city’s elected members have in making decisions that will impact Hamilton for 30-40 years to come,” Briggs said.

“We are trying to be as transparent and as open as we can. We want candidates to be well informed and be well aware of where the city is at. There’s nowhere to hide on a bus so they can ask us what questions and we’ll answer them. It’s pretty simple.”

The tour will take in core infrastructure like Hamilton’s wastewater treatment plant, make a quick stop at facilities like the zoo and Council parks and provide a briefing on growth, including the Peacocke development. Candidates will also be given an overview of Council’s finances and relationships with iwi.

“Essentially, we will try to cover the five challenges we’ve outlined in our Pre-election Report and build on that,” Briggs said.

“We can’t cover everything but we anticipate that candidates should already be doing their own research and will come armed with a copy of the Pre-election Report we’ve already released and some very clear questions.”

Briggs said he was unaware of any other councils offering candidate tours but was happy for Hamilton City Council to do things differently if it encouraged good people to stand.

“I’ve been really clear that one of the challenges we have is getting people more engaged with the business of Council and being more accessible to candidates is part of that.”

Candidates wishing to join a tour should register their interest at yourcityelections.co.nz/stand or phone 07 838 6699 to book a seat.

Nominations close on 16 August 2019 and the tours will be held on 7 and 10 August, 9am to 12 noon.

More information about Hamilton City Council’s elections is at yourcityelections.co.nz

Voting papers will be delivered from Friday 20 September 2019 and voting closes at 12pm on Saturday 12 October. Preliminary results will be announced that day.

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