The Stoke Memorial Hall played host to ‘Quiz the Candidates’ on Saturday. Photo: Kate Russell.

Nelson public quiz the candidates


Nelson residents got the opportunity to put their most pressing questions to Nelson City Council election candidates on Saturday.

The Stoke Memorial Hall played host to “Quiz the Candidates”, which was organised by the Nelson Residents Association.

All council and mayoral candidates showed up, apart from Cindy Batt. A handful of district health board candidates were also in attendance, too.

Candidate Kate Fulton speaks to a voter at the event. Photo: Kate Russell.
Candidate Kate Fulton speaks to a voter at the event. Photo: Kate Russell.

Many Nelson voters came  prepared with their lists of candidates and questions – which were spurred by posters around the hall stating ‘what’s your priority?’ with issues such as the Southern Link, rate increases, Modellers Pond and wood burners being highlighted.

One Nelson resident, Paul Lunberg, came armed with a couple of questions for candidates: what would be their ideal size for Nelson and how would they maintain it, and what are candidate’s views on global warming.

“I’ve got my list of councillors, and I’m here to find out the views of the ones I don’t know much about,” said Paul.

“I think it’s really important that councillors are thinking about our next generation – I’ve got two young grandchildren and I worry about what the future will be like for them.”

Paul said he has also emailed candidates his questions, but  he finds talking to them face-to-face much more beneficial, and he appreciates the opportunity to talk to all of them under one roof.

First time council candidate hopeful, Kindra Douglas, said she also liked the face-to-face format.

“It’s hard to get a sense of someone when they are standing up talking to a crowd. This way you can actually have a decent conversation,” she said.

The event ran from 1 – 5pm and vice-chairman of the Nelson Residents Association, Kerry Neal, said the hall was fully occupied for the whole time.

“The public clearly look forward to the event and obviously the candidates feel there is value in it too, and we thank them for coming” he says.

Kerry said it is the fourteenth time the association has held the event, with the format being changed three years ago so that the public could talk one-one-one with candidates.