Nominations close at noon today in what is shaping up to be the most contested mayoral election in the 30-year history of the Far North District.

As of yesterday morning seven candidates had officially put their names forward to be the next Far North mayor with two more saying they intend to stand.

A late rush of nominations also guarantees healthy competition for each of the seats at the council table.

Earlier this week only a handful of candidates had put their hands up to be Far North District councillors but by yesterday that number that had surged to 18.

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Former Green MP Sue Bradford is standing for the Far North District Council. Photo / Doug Sherring
Former Green MP Sue Bradford is standing for the Far North District Council. Photo / Doug Sherring

The new candidates include Sue Bradford, a former Green MP and social issues activist who now lives at Taipa in Doubtless Bay. She is one of seven candidates so far contesting three seats in the Te Hiku ward.

The latest addition to the Far North mayoral race is Monty Knight, a former councillor and businessman from Kaitaia.

He joins John Bassett, Peter Gill, Jay Hepi, John Levers and Tania McInnes in taking on John Carter, who is seeking a third term as mayor. Dave Hookway and John Tahana have also said they intend to stand.

Kaitaia businessman Monty Knight is the latest of many to put his hand up for the Far North mayoralty. Photo / supplied
Kaitaia businessman Monty Knight is the latest of many to put his hand up for the Far North mayoralty. Photo / supplied

Whangārei District Council doesn't publish candidate names until after nominations close but so far lawyer Tony Savage and road sealing campaigner Alex Wright have announced their intention to take on Sheryl Mai, who is also seeking a third term as mayor.

In Kaipara democracy was only restored in 2016 after the government appointed commissioners to run the financially troubled district four years earlier.

There, as of yesterday morning, the only challenger taking on incumbent Jason Smith for the mayoralty was Kaihu filmmaker and activist Moemoea Mohowhenua, previously known as Benjamin Nathan.

Moemoea Mohowhenua, also known as Penehamine Nathan or Benjamin Nathan, is taking on Jason Smith for the Kaipara mayoralty. Photo / John Stone
Moemoea Mohowhenua, also known as Penehamine Nathan or Benjamin Nathan, is taking on Jason Smith for the Kaipara mayoralty. Photo / John Stone

Seven candidates had put their names forward for eight seats around the council table. If no new nominations are received by noon today one of two Dargaville seats will be vacant.

The Far North's three community boards have also seen a last-minute rush of nominations. As of yesterday only the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board was still short of two candidates to fill its seven seats.

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Acting Far North District Council chief executive Darrell Sargent urged would-be candidates not to lodge their nomination forms at the last minute, in case extra information was required to complete the process.

Noon today is also the deadline for nominations for the Northland Regional Council and Northland District Health Board, and for voters to register on the Parliamentary Electoral Roll and get their ballot papers in the mail. People who don't register or update their details on time can still have their say but will need to cast a special vote.

Go to www.fndc.govt.nz, www.wdc.govt.nz or www.kaipara.govt.nz for more information about the elections, or vote.nz for more information about enrolling to vote.