Last-minute nominations for Auckland Council seats stream in

Auckland City Mayoral candidate Phil Goff attends a mayoral debate held in St Heliers. Photo / Dean Purcell.
Auckland City Mayoral candidate Phil Goff attends a mayoral debate held in St Heliers. Photo / Dean Purcell.

Last-minute nominations for Auckland Council positions have streamed in this morning, after concerns that not enough people were standing.

The deadline for nominations for local body elections around the country is midday today.

Only one person had put their hand up for the two seats available in the Manurewa-Papakura ward yesterday evening, but two more nominations came through by this morning.

Only one person was nominated for the two seats on the North Shore ward by yesterday but another five flooded in today.

Albany, Franklin and Manukau wards still look likely to be uncontested as the number of nominees matches positions available.

Another nomination for Orakei and two for Rodney have also come through.

Auckland Council elections planning manager Glyn Walters said he still expected a "flood of nominations" before the midday deadline.

"People leave it to the last minute and we would therefore expect a rush this morning."

He expected about 15 to 20 per cent more nominations would come through.

Although five local boards in Auckland didn't have enough nominees to make the cut yesterday evening, all areas now had more nominations than available seats.

Four new candidates also joined the Auckland mayoralty race today.

Latest data reveals 12 candidates are now vying for the job.

The new candidates are Aileen Austin, David Hay, Chloe Swarbrick and Mark Thomas, all running independently.

Austin ran for mayoral candidate in 2010.

Hay is a former Green Party member and council employee, and Swarbrick, at 22 years of age, will be the youngest Auckland mayoralty candidate.

Thomas has been a deputy chair of the Orakei Local Board since 2010.

Candidates who joined the race yesterday include Patrick Brown of the Communist League, independent Binh Thanh Nguyen, Phil O'Connor of Christians Against Abortion who stood in 2013, as well as Wayne Young who is listed as having no affiliation.

Other candidates are Phil Goff, Vic Crone, Stan Martin and John Palino, all running independently.

Dale Ofsoske, managing director of Election Services which runs the city's elections, said if by midday today not enough nominations had been received, a by-election would be held for the remaining spots on February 17, next year.

Ofsoske said the process must be repeated until vacancies were filled.

He said this had not happened for Auckland Council (or its predecessor Auckland City Council) before.

"It has, however, occurred in other territorial authorities."

The process was slightly different for local boards, where the positions could be filled by appointment or by-election, Ofsoske said.

If candidates for local boards or wards were unopposed, they would be elected.
Auckland Council spokeswoman Liz Kirschberg said that in 2013, a flurry of late nominations came in - 44 per cent were received in the last two days.

Yesterday a surge of last-minute nominations were lodged.

"We expect another busy morning before nominations close. We do not expect there to be any by-elections required next year due to lack of nominations."

In the Howick ward in 2013, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart were elected unopposed, and Cameron Brewer was elected unopposed in Orakei last election.

Of the 35 licensing trust positions available, 46 candidates had now come forward as of today.

And 53 people are nominated for the 21 spots on the region's three district health boards.

Overall, 353 nominations have been received for 170 positions as ward and local board councillors.

- NZ Herald

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