Far North District councillors have held their last meeting ahead of the upcoming local elections knowing there will be at least some new faces around the table next time.
That, however, is their only certainty, because with a record 90 candidates — 11 of whom are standing for mayor — predicting the outcome is nigh on impossible.
The only current councillor not seeking re-election is Colin ''Toss'' Kitchen, who is bowing out after four terms under two mayors.
However, two councillors are running for the mayoralty only, which means at most only one of Dave Hookway, Tania McInnes and the incumbent John Carter will be back at the council table after October 12.
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Kitchen, a former Kaitaia fire chief who is instead aiming for a regional council seat, said he felt ''a bit emotional'' at Thursday's meeting but proud of the council's achievements over the past 12 years.
''Sometimes it's a thankless task — you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't — but I wish the incoming councillors all the best.''
His advice to new councillors was to ''work as a team''.
The public section of last Thursday's meeting in Kaikohe included deputations from Bay of Islands Watchdogs and the Friends of Kerikeri Domain, funding for a new asset condition assessment programme, new bylaws on drainage and earthworks, and adoption of the annual report.
Councillors discussed the results of the latest resident opinion survey and deferred a report about Kerikeri Domain governance to the next council.
Matters discussed in the public-excluded part of the meeting included plans for a southern dog pound, Panguru flood mitigation, a loan to Manea Footprints of Kupe Centre in Opononi, and Te Pu o Te Wheke civic hub in Kaikohe.