Victory for C&R man in Botany byelection would create vacancy in city's Howick ward.

Dick Quax is eyeing a seat on the Auckland Council following a decision by Auckland councillor Jami-Lee Ross to step down if he wins the parliamentary byelection in Botany.

Mr Ross, selected on Thursday as National's candidate for the safe seat, will force a byelection in the Howick ward if, as expected, he gets into Parliament.

The byelection in East Auckland, prompted by the resignation of former Cabinet Minister Pansy Wong, will take place on March 5.

Mrs Wong won the 2008 general election by more than 10,000 votes.

Mr Ross, a strong campaigner against wasting ratepayers' money, has defended the $150,000 cost of a byelection in Howick only three months after he started work as an Auckland councillor.

He said that, as a young politician - he's only 25, but has already served two terms on the Manukau City Council - he would not have stood for the Auckland Council had he known Mrs Wong was going to resign.

Mr Ross said he had discussions with the mayoral office about taking five weeks of unpaid leave to campaign in Botany, but nevertheless planned to continue in his roles as a councillor.

"If it got to the point where I was unable to do my council roles then I would take unpaid leave," he said.

Mr Ross said he would resign as an Auckland councillor within days if he won the Botany seat.

Auckland Council electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said that would lead to a postal byelection in Howick in early June at a cost of about $150,000.

Yesterday, Mr Quax indicated he would be interested in standing for the byelection in Howick, where he narrowly missed out by 253 votes in November.

Mr Quax and Mr Ross stood for the right-leaning Citizens & Ratepayers ticket, but only Mr Ross was elected.

Independent Sharon Stewart won the other seat.

Mr Quax said that if Mr Ross won the parliamentary race, he would make a decision reasonably quickly about standing in the Howick byelection. If he decided to go ahead, he would seek the Citizens & Ratepayers nomination.

Former Manukau City councillors David Collings, who polled 11,590 votes to Mr Quax's 19,036 at last year's local body elections, and Maggie Burrill, who polled 10,674 votes, said they would also consider standing in any Howick byelection.