CENTRAL Hawke's Bay mayor Peter Butler says his district has the "third highest voter turnout in New Zealand", so apathy was not a "too big a local problem".

He said certain people in his district who were anti-dam and "anti progressive" should have the "gumption" to stand for the mayoralty or council so the silent majority who believe current councillors had performed a great job would "come out in their droves" and vote against them.

"I look forward to seeing them put their names forward, that's if they could find someone in Central Hawke's Bay to nominate them," Mr Butler said.

Last month the mayor and local farmer had a change of heart and announced that he no longer intended to run for a third term at this year's elections.

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He told Hawke's Bay Today he didn't think those in the community who were disinclined to vote deserved the right to do so.

"I find it a real problem that if a person young or old cannot open an envelope, read the instructions, put a tick beside the name of the person who they believe will represent them best, put the voting paper back in the envelope and post it, I wonder if they deserve the right to vote so why should it be made easier for them by having online voting?

"In Australia it's illegal not to vote, so why should the 40 or 50 per cent who don't care on who should be their representative have a say on who should govern?"

-The voter return for the 2013 local body elections in Central Hawke's Bay was 54.68 per cent.