Auckland Mayor Len Brown is in the running to be named the best mayor in the world - but he says he has no idea how he was nominated.
More than 205,000 people from around the world nominated 910 mayors, including Mr Brown, for this year's World Mayor Prize.
From this long list, the Fellows of The City Mayors Foundation - an international think-tank on local government based in London - have narrowed the list down to 25 mayors, including Mr Brown, for an online poll.
The Fellows will choose the winner and two runners-up based on the number of votes received and the strength and passion of supporting comments.
Some contestants, such as Perth Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, have dozens of glowing testimonials on the World Mayor website, but there is nothing aside from Mr Brown's name for people to judge him on.
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Mr Brown said the mayor had no idea how he came to be nominated, nor had he received any information from the foundation about the contest.
Asked if Mr Brown was taking the matter seriously, the spokeswoman said he took every opportunity to promote Auckland internationally.
As former mayor of Manukau, Mr Brown had some recollection of some correspondence with the foundation and there had been feedback on the World Mayor Prize from council representatives at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development about the awards, the spokeswoman said.
The mayor chosen for the title in December will receive a sculpture of three stacked cubes reflecting what an inspirational mayor can achieve if he or she builds on strong foundations.
2010: Marcelo Ebrard (Mexico City)
2008: Helen Zille (Cape Town)
2006: John So (Melbourne)
2005: Dora Bakoyannis (Athens)
2004: Edi Rama (Tirana)
How the contest works
Between January and May, citizens from around the world are invited to nominate mayors for the World Mayor Award via the City Mayors and World Mayor websites.
In the second round, which runs from June to October, citizens are asked to choose from the short-list of finalists.
The Fellows of the City Mayors Foundation choose the winner and runners-up based on the number of votes received and the strength and passion of supporting comments. The winner is announced in December.By Bernard Orsman @BernardOrsman Email Bernard