We started with 17.

Four are now gone, and we are down to 13 - twelve of whom will be at a public meeting in Kamo tomorrow.

We're talking about the candidates for the Denby byelection in Whangarei.

The election is being held after the previous candidate resigned because she was not a New Zealand citizen and therefore ineligible.

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48 hours out from the deadline for the nominations to contest the seat, there were no nominations. 48 hours later, there were 17 candidates.

Read more: Four Denby candidates don't want your vote, but 3 still on ballot paper

Four no longer wish to be considered - Haydn Edmonds, Vanessa Wilson, Greg Shipton and Yvette Poingdestre.

Three of the four names will still appear on voting forms, so it will be interesting to see how aware voters are, when they make their selection.

Mr Edmonds was the only candidate who met the criteria for an official withdrawal - the other three have cited personal reasons why they decided to not contest the seat, which is their prerogative.

But they have not been officially pulled from the process.

In terms of voters being aware, the Advocate is publishing profiles for the candidates next Tuesday to help voters make up their minds.

And on Saturday we are hosting a candidate meeting in the heart of the Denby electorate - Kamo.

When we planned the meeting at the Kamo Intermediate School hall, we had 17 candidates, and the logistics of a traditional candidates meeting were impossible.

In two hours, each candidate would have been lucky to get five minutes exposure with a speech/questions format.

So we are testing how proactive voters are on Saturday, and inviting them to come along and speak with 12 - Geoff Abbott puts in his apologies - of the 13 candidates left.

Voters can meet the candidates directly, ask them questions and make up their minds.

There won't be any speeches.

But there might even be a cup of tea or coffee made by yours truly.

And there will hopefully be 12 candidates as planned, all New Zealand citizens, we believe.