16 Aug 2013

Low voter turnout feared in local body elections

12:26 pm on 16 August 2013

The deadline for nominations in October's local body elections has just passed.

Candidates across the country who want to stand for mayor, their local council or district health board had to have their nomination in by midday Friday.

There are fears voter turnout for October's local body elections will be low, continuing a downward trend seen in recent years.

Director of Public Management Group at Massey University Dr Andy Asquith says there are several reasons for voter apathy.

"My feeling generally is it's fairly low key around New Zealand this time and this is a reflection of the failure of local bodies to get out there and to engage and enthuse people."

In Auckland, incumbent mayor Len Brown is seeking a second term and as of late Friday morning there were twelve candidates challenging him for the job, including the Mana's John Minto and restaurateur John Palino.

The final list of candidates in Auckland and around the country will be made official Friday afternoon and voting packs are expected to start arriving in the mail from 20 September.