Outspoken councillor Dave Hookway is the latest candidate to throw his hat into the ring for the Far North mayoralty.

Hookway, a health promotion adviser with Northland District Health Board, said he made the decision after receiving an ''overwhelming number'' of requests.

He joins current Far North Mayor John Carter, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes, of Paihia, motoring journalist Peter Gill, of Waipapa, and reformed gang member and Destiny Church candidate Jay Hepi, of Kaikohe, in what is already shaping up to be a crowded field.

Hookway, who lives at Waipapa and is campaigning under the hashtag #Bear4Mayor, said he had spent the past three years speaking out about community concerns and trying to promote more open governance and decision-making.


''I've exercised a fair degree of professional scepticism over papers and reports as they have come to council for consideration. This hasn't always been a popular approach but I make no apology for being as diligent as I could,'' he said.

''However, I cannot, in my current role as a councillor, effect the degree of change needed to make our council a more trusted and high-performing organisation.''

If elected, Hookway said he would ensure ''accountable and transparent decision-making on behalf of all people in the Far North district''.

Nominations for the upcoming local government elections opened last Friday and will close on August 16. Voting documents will be delivered from September 20 to 25. The election is on October 12.

• To enrol to vote or update your details go to vote.nz, call 0800 36 76 56, or drop in to any PostShop.

• If you are standing in the elections or putting on a meet-the-candidates event in Northland, email details to elections@northernadvocate.co.nz.