A record 10 candidates will contest the Far North mayoralty after a last-minute surge of nominations boosted an already crowded field.

While it's almost certainly a record for the Far North District, which was established in 1989, it's not a national record for the upcoming local elections — in Christchurch the current mayor Lianne Dalziel faces 12 challengers for her job.

The candidates taking on two-term Far North Mayor John Carter are John Bassett of Kaitaia, Māori games expert Harko Brown of Puketona, motoring writer Peter Gill of Waipapa, reformed gang member and Man Up co-ordinator Jay Hepi of Kaikohe, district councillor Dave Hookway of Waipapa, Kaitaia businessman and former councillor Monty Knight, lodge owner John Levers of Kerikeri, Anglican minister Kuini Matene of Kaikohe, and deputy mayor Tania McInnes of Paihia.

Of the 10 candidates, two are women, three are Māori and six are Pākehā men.


Five are from the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa ward, three are from Te Hiku and two from the Kaikohe-Hokianga ward, which is roughly in line with the geographic population split.

The last-minute rush for council seats was even more dramatic.

With less than a week to go before nominations closed on Friday fewer people had put their hands up than there were seats round the table.

When nominations closed, however, 41 people had stepped forward to contest the nine council seats. Interest was strong across the district with 14 nominees in Bay of Islands-Whangaroa, 12 in Kaikohe-Hokianga and 15 in Te Hiku.

A total of 33 people have been nominated for the district's three community boards with 10 in Bay of Islands-Whangaroa, 11 in Kaikohe-Hokianga and 12 in Te Hiku.

The candidate list is provisional and still needs to be confirmed by Independent Election Services, which will conduct the Far North poll.

Voting forms will be posted to enrolled voters from September 20. Election day is October 12.