Get to know Queenstown council candidates

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Residents can quiz all 14 candidates standing for six Queenstown-Wakatipu ward seats next month.

Radio New Zealand’s Steve Wilde will MC a meeting, jointly hosted by Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and Mountain Scene sister publication Otago Daily Times, on Tuesday, October 1.

The free event starts 5.30pm. Registration expires on September 30 and those wanting to submit questions and/or attend should register at www.queenstownchamber.org.nz/meet-the-candiates-debate.

Chamber boss Ann Lockhart says with the election fast approaching and major changes to mayoral powers, voters must get to know what our aspiring candidates stand for.

“It’s your opportunity to let the candidates know what matters to our community and for you to make a considered decision about the leadership of our district.”

Mountain Scene will also publish a major guide to the candidates in coming weeks.

Lockhart says mayoral powers will be extended after the election to match the level of public responsibility mayor’s have for council decisions, and support clear, strong leadership.
 
All mayors will be able to appoint deputy mayors, establish council committees and appoint committee chairpersons.

The changes mean the role of the mayor is now clearly defined as leading the council and community and, more specifically, leading the development of plans, policies and budgets for consideration by all elected members.

It’ll give the mayor a greater say in council governance structures and leadership, but not change the requirement for council decisions and policies to be made by the majority of council members.

Councils will also have the ability to discharge a committee established by a mayor, or remove from office a chairperson who has been appointed by a mayor. 

In Queenstown, incumbent mayor Vanessa van Uden faces an 11th-hour challenge from Glenorchy’s Al Angus – who only lodged his mayoral bid at the last minute when he ticking the form to stand as a councillor.