And the race is on! Nominations closed at midday today for anyone wanting to put their hand up to run in this year's local body elections. There was the traditional last-minute rush of nominations to the Western Bay of Plenty's three councils and one district health board. While many incumbent elected officials were looking to keep their seats, there were also plenty of new faces among the candidates, and some voters will recall from previous elections. Online candidate listings were still being updated as this story was published and some nominees may not be included.

Two transport advocates, a sitting

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Mayor (1 vacancy)

Councillor at large (4 vacancies)

Mount Maunganui-Pāpāmoa ward (2 vacancies)

Ōtumoetai-Pyes Pā ward (2 vacancies)

Te Papa-Welcome Bay ward (2 vacancies