|12 NOON: Four candidates for vacancies on the Trust Board of the NZ AIDS Foundation are today all but guaranteed a place on the board with the withdrawal of Grant Robertson from contention. Only five people put themselves forward for the four vacancies on the seven person Board, with an election due to be held at the NZAF's Annual General Meeting tomorrow afternoon. Robertson says he has withdrawn reluctantly, following his confirmation last weekend as the Labour party's Wellington Central candidate in the forthcoming general election. After serving on the Board for two years, Robertson says he would be leading the NZAF's membership astray if he remained a candidate with the implied availability to attend meetings and undertake work that board membership entails. An election must be held before mid-November next year and Robertson says he must concentrate his energies on the general election and his electorate. "But I remain absolutely committed to the work and goals of the NZAF," he says, "and I will be a voice on HIV issues in Parliament if elected." Tacitly acknowledging that the remaining candidates have strong personal views on the future direction of the Foundation, Robertson says he hopes the incoming board members recognise "the importance of the governance/management split" in the running of the Foundation. "The NZAF is a publicly funded organisation and everyone on the board needs to understand that," he says. The remaining candidates are Hamish Allardice of Wellington, Peter Browne and Peter Taylor of Auckland and Larry Jenkins of Northland/Auckland.