A by-election will be held next February to try to fill the one seat left on Whanganui's rural community board.

The board, which is part of the Whanganui District Council, has representatives from three sub-divisions - Whanganui (two seats), Kai-Iwi (three) and Kaitoke (two).

But at the October elections there was only one nomination received - from incumbent Bill Ashworth - and while he takes his place council is obliged to hold another election to try and fill that second position.

The by-election is set down for February 17. Nominations open with the district council electoral officer today and close at midday on December 22.

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Electoral rolls for the sub-division will also open today at the council office and close at 5pm on December 22.