Eleven candidates will contest the Northland by-election, including a breakaway party of former National Party supporters set up by farmers and businesspeople campaigning on a platform of old-fashioned values.

The by-election will be held on March 28 for the seat vacated by Mike Sabin, who resigned following reports he was being investigated by police.

Nominations closed today and the Electoral Commission's list of candidates includes National's Mark Osborne, Labour's Willow Jean Prime, Act's Robin Grieve, and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

They will go up against the Mana Party's Rueben Taipari Porter and Maki Herbert for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.


Farmer Joe Carr will contest it for the Focus NZ Party -- a party set up by farmers and business people in Northland before the 2014 election to campaign on "old fashioned values".

Many of its founding members have links to National, including Northland businessman Ken Rintoul, who was on the shortlist for the National Party selection won by Mike Sabin in 2011. Former National MP Ross Meurant helped set up the Focus Party but said he had withdrawn his support about a year before the election.

Mr Carr founded the party with Mr Rintoul in 2012, when Mr Rintoul told the Northland Age they were disillusioned with National which "seems to be trying to out-Labour even Labour".

The Northland seat has been held by National for at least three decades and Mr Osborne is considered the favourite, although Mr Peters' entry adds an interesting twist.

Mr Peters will launch his "Force for the North" bus campaign in Wellsford today, and hold two street-side public meetings in Wellsford and Kawakawa.

The Green Party, Maori Party and United Future have said they would not stand candidates.

Advance voting will open on March 11 in eleven booths across Northland.

Mangawhai Ratepayer's and Residents Association chairman Bruce Rogan is also standing as an independent.


Mr Rogan was one of the ringleaders in the 2013 'rates strike' by Mangawhai residents objecting to hefty rates increases for a cost blow out in a waste water scheme.

In 2012, he apologised to Government Minister Nick Smith for an abusive email Mr Rogan had sent about the issue which Dr Smith had referred to police.

Serial independent candidate Adam Holland has also entered the contest.

Mr Holland stood in Epsom in 2014 on a tongue in cheek platform of introducing a 5 per cent flat tax for residents of Epsom only, and agreeing to do anything Prime Minister John Key said. He got 21 votes.

Mr Holland also stood in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti and Christchurch East by-elections in 2013. He gave his tribal affiliation as Utemi (Ireland).

Full list of candidates:


Adrian Bonner (Independent), Joe Carr (Focus New Zealand), Robin Grieve (Act Party), Maki Herbert (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party), Adam Holland (Independent), Mark Osborne (National Party), Rob Painting (Climate Party), Winston Peters (New Zealand First Party), Rueben Taipari Porter (MANA Movement), Willow-Jean Prime (Labour Party), Bruce Rogan (Independent).