The mellowed, transmogrified Auckland mayor wants the job and is seen as the best option by many.
CHANCES: The front runner
The well-liked and passionate Manukau City mayor's recent heart problems may count against his getting such a stressful job.
CHANCES: Good to very good
The six-term mayor of Waitakere believes the mayoral job is not about hubris or ego but leadership and the ability to see the bigger picture. But he might need to give a younger person a chance.
CHANCES: Average to good
The chairman of the Auckland Regional Council said he was reluctant to see central government social responsibilities off-loaded on to a new city region when getting there was tough and new infrastructure was greatly needed.
The North Shore mayor and critic of the super city. Has eccentric, sometimes combative style and is highly unlikely to stand.
The former Labour MP lost one of Auckland's "safe" seats to National last year. Not seen as the future of Auckland.
The sentimental vote. The nation's conscience for years could stand a chance if Aucklanders really miss hearing him on the radio each morning.
Has "dylexia" as he calls it but is a self-made millionaire and tirelessly works for charity. Not a serious contender.
CHANCES: Poor to average
Once Rangi from Shortland Street, the qualified lawyer now sees himself as a, ahem, serious mayoral candidate.