Speakers’ Corner at Market

GuruThe Guru and the (Ex) Queen’s Soldier to go head to headgavin welsh

By Alan Tristram

Two of the new Kapiti mayoral candidates will mount the rostrum when Speakers’ Corner moves to a temporary site at the Paraparaumu Market at 10-am this Saturday.

One of them, Cr K Gurunathan (Guru), will make his long-awaited formal entry into the contest for this year’s mayoral poll.

The other, Gavin Welsh, a farrier and former soldier in the Queen’s Household Cavalry, is a newcomer to local politics.

Kapiti Friends of Free Speech, which set up the new permanent Speakers’ Corner next to the KCDC building in April, says a ‘portable soap box’ will take the corner, and democracy, to where the locals gather in large numbers.

Cr Gurunathan, who has been outlining his views on one or two key topics in full-page ads in Kapiti News, is now expected to come up with a manifesto for change in the Council.

He’s known to be worried about the plight of small businesses in the district, as big develop ment projects and the Expressway dominate the scene.

Mr Welsh says he stands for economic growth as well as fiscal responsibility – and says rates are too high and ‘our debt burden is too great.’

He stresses the importance of sustainability and the preservation of the Kapiti  Coast’s unique natural assets.

After their speeches on Saturday, both candidates will field questions from the crowd.

Mayor Jenny Rowan was invited this Saturday, but declined the invitation.

The fourth mayoral candidate, Cr Ross Church, says he is unable to attend the event as he has another commitment.