Death and taxes were two of the topics for Kapiti’s mayoral hopefuls at a public forum in Otaki yesterday morning.
Three of the four candidates, Gwyn Compton, Martin Halliday and sitting mayor Gurunathan gave short statements and answered questions.
The fourth candidate, Jackie Elliott was absent on family business.
Kapiti identity Dale Evans wanted to know if Kapiti had delayed millions of dollars of spending on important infrastructure because of its debt rating with the rating agency Standard and Poors.
Evan’s figures challenged
But mayor Gurunathan challenged the figures, saying he did not think Evans’ reading of them was correct. And Gwyn Compton said the Standard and Poors figures had their shortcomings.
Compton said Kapiti must prepare for growth with the opening of Transmission Gully with smart thinking and a community approach.
Halliday said his vision for the district was a costal marine theme which could unify the district.
He also referred to the takeover of Paraparaumu’s Te Newhanga community centre as being heavy-handed and not done through due process.
Gurunathan said he was running on his record for the previous three years including the work to improve health services and accessibility.
He said relations between the elected members had been better than for quite some time before.
Call for special burial areas
The death reference came from Otaki man Elias Hashim who wanted to know if special burial areas could be part of the district cemeteries.
Mr Hashim, a Muslim said his body would have to go to Makara, which he described as cold and very far from his family.
The three candidates all said they were sympathetic to his plea.
Regional race included
The forum was also for the two people competing to represent Kapiti on the Regional Council.
Sitting councillor Penny Gaylor could not attend because she was attending a council meeting to do with the second Capital Connection train. Her statement said her time on the Regional council had seen the securing of the extra train
The other regional candidate Neil McKay of Paraparaumu cited his experience as head of Business New Zealand and board chairman of local lines company Electra. He had also chaired the Trust behind the Kapiti Aquatic Centre. He said Kapiti faced significant environmental challenges.
Questions from the floor included a question about the district rubbish, which goes to a landfill near Levin, the defunding of the Otaki Citizens Advice office, and the lack of social workers in Otaki. One questioner wanted to know why most KCDC council meetings were in the daytime.
One questioner wanted to know why most KCDC council meetings were in the daytime.