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Where are the bold ideas?

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

Local body elections need to be inspiring, especially if we want to reverse our slumping voting rates.

But so far the calibre of election campaigning here seems to be anything but.

The range of ideas coming from the various Wairarapa candidates has ranged from the bog-standard to the predictable.

Our reporters have been to numerous candidates meetings, and the ideas across the board have been far from inspiring.

Sure, there are some serious and important thing being said.

We do need to know what side of the amalgamation fence our candidates are on, and whether they think rates should be capped to inflation (surprise, surprise, they pretty much all do).

But what else?

Where are the interesting ideas, the inspirational ideas, the visionary ideas that might move those unlikely to vote to get off their bums and tick a box on their voting paper?

Are we missing something?

Some readers will no doubt criticise the Times-Age for our coverage and its part in this.

But we can only write what is put in front of us, and nobody wants to read screeds of what would effectively be campaign material.

We haven’t been running letters from candidates either, but we spelled out right at the start that we were absolutely happy to consider story ideas from candidates that had something unique or interesting to say.

Maybe the problem is that Wairarapa candidates don’t quite know how to play the game.

You can say what you like about the election going on in Wellington, but at least there are some interesting ideas being kicked about.

Double-decker roundabouts, mega cycleways, new roads.

Candidates there seem to be bringing solutions to the table, rather than mumbling about core services, criticising the existing councils, and telling us what experience they will bring and how hard they will work.

These things should be givens, absolute minimums.

So let’s hear your great ideas please candidates.

And rather than just telling us what issues you think need to be fixed, tell us how you will fix them.

Let’s hear how you will make Wairarapa a better place to live, there’s still time.


  1. Whoever commissioned the pruning of the previously beautiful trees on Main Street in Greytown should be hanging their heads in shame!

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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