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Police called as Kilbirnie mayoral meeting gets unruly

Sep 18th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

IN THE RUNNING: candidates listen as current mayor Celia Wade-Brown speaks. From left: Jack Yan, Nicola Young, Karunanidhi Muthu and Rob Goulden

IN THE RUNNING: candidates listen as current mayor Celia Wade-Brown speaks. From left: Jack Yan, Nicola Young, Karunanidhi Muthu and Rob Goulden. IMAGE: Lauren Mann


POLICE were called in to deal with an audience member during a meet the candidates’ meeting at the Kilbirnie community center on Sunday.

The man in his late 20s was taken away by police after storming out of the meeting, complaining he was being “shushed” by other audience members.

He then loudly voiced his opinions and complaints outside the meeting doors, accusing those who had asked him to be quite of acting like they were better than them.

At one point he accused the women who had escorted him out of the meeting of assault.

It wasn’t the only disruption to the meeting – earlier a woman stormed out after the facilitator failed to choose her to answer a question.

Each of the six candidates was given three minutes to speak before the floor was opened up to questions with residents broaching controversial issues.

Packed hall: residents of Kilbirnie listen to candidates speak.

Packed hall: residents of Kilbirnie listen to candidates speak.
IMAGE: Lauren Mann

The living wage, the proposed airport runway extension and the delayed Bay Road face-lift were hot topics,with each of the candidates’ responses drawing both yells of protest and support.

Kilbirnie resident of 52 years Betty Weeber said that the candidates were a “mixed bag” but “much of muchness in some ways”.

She wished some of them had been more specific in their plans.

Lyall Bay resident Alva Coates said she had found it hard to hear and was still undecided about who she would vote for.

“It was hard to hear at the back with everyone else making noise but from what I could hear I thought Celia [Wade-Brown] spoke well and she apologised for the mess of the main road, which was nice.”

The event was organised by the Kilbirnie Residents’ Association and is one of many ‘meet the candidates’ meetings being organised around the city in build up for the local body elections on October 12.

Postal voting begins this week and a list of future candidate meetings can be found on the Wellington City Council website.

Ten candidates to choose from in Eastern Ward 


NINE of the 10 Eastern ward candidates spoke at a meeting in Kilbirnie on Sunday and voter Leo Buchanan says the number will make the choice difficult.

All the candidates for the three Wellington City Council ward seats spoke for three minutes each.

Mr Buchanan, of Kilbirnie, said the amount of candidates standing will make for a harder decision.

“There are a huge number of candidates here, some had good ideas on some areas but they all keep with different ideas so it’s hard to pick one,” he said.

More than 200 Eastern ward public members attended the meeting.

Voter Jim Lally was disappointed with lack of answers the candidates gave.

“I’m disappointed with the laziness with them answering the questions, but I have a better idea of what the candidates are offering,” he said.

Candidate Va’ai Va’a Potoi said he was not going to promise anything but would quickly try and resolve the issue with unemployment.

“I’m not here to promise you anything, but I have this passion for keeping our youth involved. I want them to have jobs,” he said.

Karunanidhi Muthu, who is also running for mayor, said he felt “sad” that there was a huge gap between the rich and poor in New Zealand.

“I did not realise that there is a gap in New Zealand, I feel so sad that so many people are left behind,” Mr Muthu said.

I came from a hard working country (referring to India) and I will work hard to fix the gap between the rich and poor,” he said.

Representing the Green Party of Aotearoa, Sarah Free promised more jobs and received a standing ovation from the audience after stating that she would reduce the bus fees.

“I want to look at the economy.

“I want jobs for young and jobs for not so young and I want affordable bus fees for everyone,” she said.

Simon “Swampy” Marsh, a current ward councillor, was the only candidate who touched on Shelly Bay.

“I want to fix Shelly Bay. I want houses there, and I want to invest where I can bring business to Wellington,” Mr Marsh said.

“I believe we should represent Wellington as Wellingtonians,” he said.

Rob Goulden and Ray Ahipene-Mercer criticised the current council approach to the ASB Sports Centre and they asked for the council to seek external financial advice.

Peter Kennedy wants to attract business in Wellington and asked for unity in the council.

“We need to attract business here, we need a review of how the council money has been spending and we should all work together,” Mr Kennedy said.

John Coleman said he will focus on the parking issue and wants security camera on every buildings.

“I want to see review of the parking fees and I want Cameras on every building,” he said.

Graham McCready said that he would focus on the Airport extension.

Current councillor Leonie Gill was not at the meeting.

Voting starts today and results will be announced on October 12.


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