Some of the less-heralded mayoral candidates had the opportunity to speak before an audience this afternoon, joining frontrunners Lianne Dalziel and Paul Lonsdale for the event hosted by the University’s Political Science club (UCPOLS).
Max Towle live-blogged the debate here, and spoke to some of the candidates ahead of the event.
Dalziel said she was looking forward to talking to a younger group of people.
“One of the messages I want to get across is finding better ways for young people to connect with their council because I think there’s been a huge disconnect. I think social media could actually be key.”
Lonsdale expected to be grilled on a number of issues relevant to youth.
“I think students will be wanting to know about affordable housing, renting, job prospects and entertainment.”
“It will also be good to talk about the alcohol policies. That’s a massive topic and highly relevant to University students. It’s an area I didn’t get a chance to flesh out in the last debate.”
Last Monday, The Press held its mayoral debate between Dalziel and Lonsdale.
UCPOLS President Nathalie Blakely said it was important to invite every candidate to today’s event, in the interest of fairness.
“You have to ask what it is people want. The Press were trying to sell an event but we’re interested in democratic fairness.”
The debate took the form of a discussion panel rather than a traditional debate. Each candidate was invited to make a two minute introduction, before being given a minute to answer questions posed by UCPOLS students. There was then an opportunity for members of the audience to ask their own questions.
Dalziel was wary of the format. “The biggest challenge I think is trying to address the big issues in only a minute. That might be quite difficult.”
Lonsdale said he was “ready for it”.
“I’m not going to go in over-prepared because then you can come off worse.”
The event was hosted by Political Science lecturer Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald, who was confident potential voters in the audience would be better able to make an informed decision after the debate.