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Mix and mingle with Hamilton leader hopefuls

All candidates in the running to be Hamilton’s mayor are fronting up at next week’s Hamilton City Council Mayoral Debate.

The eight contenders – James Casson, Jack Gielen, Louise Hutt, Andrew King, Lisa Lewis, Angela O’Leary, Paula Southgate and Mike West – have confirmed they’ll be at the event, to be moderated by Newshub journalist Mike McRoberts.

There’ll be an opportunity before the debate for you to meet Mr McRoberts, grab a selfie, and suggest questions for him to put to mayoralty candidates.

As well as the Mayoral Debate, the event will feature a Candidate Café for those gunning for councillor seats to meet the public in a relaxed environment.

All 39 hopefuls across the East and West Wards have been invited with the majority attending.

Richard Briggs, the Council’s Chief Executive, is expecting a large crowd to see all mayoral candidates share their vision for Hamilton and be informed about the councillor candidates.

“Having all of the people putting their hand up to lead our city in the one room will be a valuable opportunity for voters,” he says.

“You’ll get to hear the candidates’ views on the important issues facing Hamilton, and get a picture of how they’ll represent our city when on the public stage.”

The Council has been praised for having the courage to host a Mayoral Debate and thinking differently about how to increase voter turnout.

In a recent Waikato Times story, Dr Patrick Barrett, senior lecturer in public policy and political science at The University of Waikato, said: “I don't think there's a problem at all with the Hamilton City Council investing in raising the profile of the election and providing an opportunity for residents to get to know who's standing.”

Mr Briggs would also like to acknowledge the efforts of individuals and organisations from the community who are working hard to increase awareness of and participation in the election.

“We really appreciate the work our community is doing to lift Hamilton’s voter turnout by getting the word out to the public and targeting specific groups,” he says.

The debate and Candidate Café is an extension of the next instalment of the Council’s Your Neighbourhood information expo series, where you can talk to Council staff about projects happening across the city.

Your Neighbourhood information expo, Mayoral Debate and Candidate Café
Heaphy Rooms
Claudelands Events Centre
4pm to 8pm

4pm: Meet and greet our mayoral and councillor candidates (and Mike McRoberts) and check out some of the work Council has been doing across the city.

6.30pm: Watch as Mike McRoberts questions our mayoral candidates.

8pm: Head home knowing who to vote for when voting papers arrive in your mailbox from 20 September.

The event will be livestreamed at yourcityelections.co.nz, facebook.com/hamiltoncitycouncil and twitch.tv/hamiltoncitycouncil.

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