Blenheim ward candidates have made a bid to sway undecided voters as the cutoff date for voting edges closer.
With less than two weeks to go until voting closes for both Marlborough District Council and Nelson Marlborough Health, council candidates spoke to an audience of Grey Power members.
Around 50 members were at the Wesley Centre in Blenheim on Thursday to hear firsthand why each candidate believed a vote for them was the right one.
Pete Watson was missing from the line-up as he attended his father’s funeral.
But Tony Norman, who nominated Pete’s candidacy, stepped-up on his behalf to deliver the key points, including reining-in rates and better town planning.
“By my analysis he’s a thinker, a leader in his own way, got good ideas but very importantly he’s not afraid to speak up.
“He will I believe, poke his head above the parapet and challenge any bad decisions,” he says.
Each candidate was given two minutes to outline policies and give the audience some background information about themselves.
The majority spoke up for revitalisation of the central business district and also for protecting the environment.
Cyril Dawson, who’s campaigned under the slogan ‘Grassroots Ratepayer’ spoke candidly about his bid to support people on lower incomes.
“I’m a bit peeved about how our money is being spent. I open my own rates bill and think ‘fudge cakes.’ Council has to prioritise where our money is spent,” he says.
First time candidates such Deborah Dalliessi, Matt Flight, Gerry Roodakker, and Meg Martin spoke passionately about the changes they wanted to see.
Gerry says he was standing in a bid to repay the support he has been given over the years.
He says that now he is retired he has ‘all the time in the world’ to help.
“The reason I am standing is to give back to all those people who have supported me throughout the years.”
Mayoral candidate and current councilor Jamie Arbuckle was greeted with strong applause as he outlined his plans.
“I will actually stand up and argue for you the people,” he says.
He added that while he was the youngest candidates, he was also one of the most experienced with nine years of experience.
First time candidate Deborah Dalliessi spoke about her passion for helping.
“My passion is aging well. If you elect me, I will go beyond the call of duty. I have had the privilege of seeing what it’s like to age … I ask you to vote for a strong woman and a strong advocate for you.”
The session ended with candidates answering questions already given to them by Grey Power Marlborough members.
Voting closes on 12 October at 12pm.