16 Aug 2013

Candidates line up for local body race

9:33 pm on 16 August 2013

Nominations for October's local body elections have closed.

Candidates nationwide who want to stand for mayor, their local council or district health board had to have their nomination in by noon on Friday.

In Auckland, incumbent mayor Len Brown is seeking a second term and as of late Friday morning there were 12 candidates challenging him for the job, including the Mana's John Minto and restaurateur John Palino.

In Whanganui, former Mayor Michael Laws is running for his old job, while further south incumbent Dunedin mayor Dave Cull is seeking re-election but has eight challengers, including former ACT MP Hilary Calvert, councillor Lee Vandervis and Green Party candidate and student radio breakfast host Aaron Hawkins.

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."

The final list of candidates was expected to be made official on Friday afternoon, and voting packs should start arriving in the mail from 20 September.