Fears that there would not be enough candidates to require elections were well and truly scuttled by a last-minute rush before Far North local body nominations closed at noon on Friday.
Five community board subdivisions have only the required number of candidates and will not need a vote, but a record 10 starters will contest the mayoralty.
John Carter, who is seeking a third term as Mayor, faces challenges from Diggers' Valley farmer John Bassett, Māori games expert Harko Brown (Puketona), motoring writer Peter Gill (Waipapa, who was his sole challenger in 2016), reformed gang member and Man Up co-ordinator Jay Hepi (Kaikohe), district councillor Dave Hookway (Waipapa), Kaitaia businessman and former councillor Monty Knight, lodge owner John Levers (Kerikeri), Anglican minister Kuini Matene (Kaikohe), and Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes (Paihia).
Mr Hookway and Ms McInnes have both put their eggs in the mayoralty basket, neither seeking re-election as councillors.
A third councillor, Colin Kitchen, will also retire, but is standing for the Northland Regional Council.
The last-minute rush for council seats was even more dramatic.
By noon on Friday 41 nominations had been lodged for the nine district council seats, 14 in the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward, 12 in Kaikohe-Hokianga and 15 in Te Hiku.
A total of 33 people have been nominated for the three community boards, 10 in Bay of Islands-Whangaroa, 11 in Kaikohe-Hokianga and 12 in Te Hiku.
The candidate list needs to be formally confirmed by Independent Election Services, which will conduct the election. Voting forms will be posted to enrolled voters from September 20, with election day October 12.
■Page 3 — All the candidates.