Northland's new National candidate is Doubtless Bay business owner and council employee Mark Osborne.

Mr Osborne was selected by party delegates at a meeting in Kerikeri on Saturday. Voting had to go to a fourth round until he had an absolute majority of the 118 delegate votes.

He was up against Mita Harris, Matt King, Grant McCallum and Karen Rolleston.

The Advocate understands the final ballot was between Mr Osborne and Mr McCallum, a Maungaturoto dairy farmer.


About 150 people attended the meeting at the Kerikeri Sports Complex.

The byelection was triggered by the sudden resignation, for "personal reasons", of Northland MP Mike Sabin.

In the March 28 poll he will go up against NZ First leader Winston Peters, who announced his intention late last week, Labour's Willow-Jean Prime, Mana's Rueben Taipari Porter and Act's Robin Grieve. The Green Party is not contesting the byelection.

Mr Osborne immediately took leave from his job as Far North District Council asset manager until the election result is known.

He has previously managed Kaitaia's Te Ahu Centre and co-owns Doubtless Beauty with his wife Jodi. They live in Taipa and have two children.

He pledged to work to maintain a strong voice for Northland in John Key's government.
- more to come in Monday's Advocate.