Up to 18 parties are expected to contest the party-vote at the 2020 general election, according to the Electoral Commission.
A spokesman confirmed to Hawke's Bay Today that 14 parties are registered and four more are going through the application process in the hope of being registered by the deadline – "Writ Day" on August 16.
But there won't be any more, with prospective party heads publicly advised, via the commission website, that they should have allowed a minimum of eight weeks for processing and approval, meaning the commission should have been notified by mid-late June.
Parties wishing to contest the party vote and establish a party list had to allow one week for the commission to complete an initial assessment, two weeks to undertake membership checks (including contacting members), one week to arrange for public notification, two weeks for public comment on the application (including the proposed party name), and two weeks to finalise the application if no objections were received.
Those in the queue are ONE Party, The Advance New Zealand Party, New Zealand TEA Party, and Heartland New Zealand Party.
The spokesman said the commission is assessing the party and logo registration applications, and its board is about to make a decision on the bid by ONE Party.
He said the commission is carrying out membership checks on the other three (after which it can proceed to public consultation about the names and logos).
The parties already registered including current parliamentary seat-holders New Zealand Labour Party, the New Zealand National Party, The Green Party, New Zealand First Party, and ACT New Zealand.
Among others are recent parliamentary term seat-holders the Māori Party and Mana Movement, and Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, which, with a cannabis legalisation running alongside the September 19 vote, faces its biggest election in nine since the advent of MMP in 1996. It is yet to win a seat in the House.
The other registered parties are the New Zealand Democratic Party for Social Credit, New Conservative, The Opportunities Party (TOP), NZ Outdoors Party, Vision New Zealand and Sustainable New Zealand Party.
Nominations are open from August 10-21, but already announced are most of the candidates for seats in the Hawke's Bay Today circulation area - general electorates Napier, Tukituki and Wairarapa and Maori electorate Ikaroa-Rawhiti, all being contested by both Labour and the Greens.
National is contesting only the three general electorate seats, Act has announced candidates in Napier and Wairarapa, and NZ First to date has named just Wairarapa-based List MP Ron Mark to contest any of the seats.
Other parties represented in the region are New Conservative in Napier, and the Māori and New Zealand Outdoors parties in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.
Prime Minister and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and new National leader Todd Muller have both hit the campaign trail in Hawke's Bay in the past fortnight.
The Opportunities Party (TOP), which has no candidates named for any of the seats and might only be chasing party votes in the region, is staging a "launch event" in Havelock North on Monday night.
The unregistered New Zealand Public Party, led by rock music guitarist Billy Te Kahika, who claims to be forming a merger with an existing registered party after missing the registration timeline, is programmed for a July 25 rally in Dannevirke, according to supporters. He was in Havelock North on June18.
Candidates named to date for seats in the Hawke's Bay area are:
Napier (includes Wairoa): Labour Party, Stuart Nash (current MP); National Party, Katie Nimon; Green Party, James Crow; Act, Judy Kendall; New Conservative, Deborah Burnside.
Tukituki (includes Hastings, Havelock North, Flaxmere): National Party, Lawrence Yule (current MP); Labour Party, Anna Lorck; Green Party, Chris Perley.
Wairarapa (includes Central Hawke's Bay, Dannevirke): National Party (party holds seat), Mike Butterick; Labour Party, Kieran McAnulty (List MP), New Zealand First, Ron Mark (List MP), Green Party, Celia Wade-Brown; Act, Roger Greenslade; New Conservative, Warren Butterworth.
Ikaroa-Rawhiti (East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa): Labour Party, Meka Whaitiri (current MP); Maori Party, Heather Te Au Skipworth; Green Party, Elizabeth Kerekere; Outdoors Party, Kelly Thurston.