A mistake in the nomination form for the upcoming community board election may have persuaded potential candidates not to stand.
The Far North District Council said it regretted the error in nomination paper guidance notes, which stated that candidates could not have any financial interest in contracts with the council worth more than $25,000 a year.
However, the rule applies to contracts with relevant community board, not the council.
The financial interest rule is contained in the Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act. The exclusion can be waived by agreement with the Office of the Auditor-General.
Far North District Council electoral officer Dale Ofsoske apologised to anyone who decided not to stand because of the incorrect information.
"The error is not likely to affect many candidates. However, it would be very disappointing if even one potential leader did not stand as a result. I urge anyone who is still thinking of standing for council or any of the three community boards in the Far North to get their papers in."
Nominations close at noon this Friday.
Anyone who has already lodged a community board nomination form would not need to do so again, Ofsoske said.
The guidance notes have been updated online.
The error was spotted by eagle-eyed Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board chairman Mike Edmonds, who said it took two days and an intervention from the Office of the Auditor-General before anyone took him seriously.