"Maverick" businessman and former Auckland mayoralty hopeful Stephen Berry will contest the Northcote byelection for the ACT Party.

ACT leader David Seymour said Labour's candidate Shanan Halbert and National candidate Dan Bidois were "nice guys but they are offering more of the same, tired ideas".

"Northcote has suffered enough neglect from Labour and National. They now need a maverick to put their issues on the table," Seymour said in a statement today.

Berry, who lives in Forrest Hill on Auckland's North Shore with his husband, is a manager for a supermarket chain.


"Stephen will bring positive, practical solutions to bear in fixing the traffic chaos on Onewa Road because he can do and say things the other candidates can't," Seymour said.

Both Bidois and Halbert have said traffic congestion in Northcote, in particular Onewa Rd, is a priority for them as candidates.

"I'm a life-long Aucklander who has lived on the North Shore for four years", Berry said.

"Having worked in nine different supermarkets in that time, on both sides of the [Auckland Harbour] Bridge, I've experienced the daily traffic jams.

"Labour is advocating for more public transport and National wants to take credit for whatever Labour decides. I'll loudly advocate for what we know is successful."

Berry stood for ACT in the general election last year in East Coast Bays, at No 5 on the list.

Seymour gave him a public dressing down during the election campaign last year after Berry told a Rainbow forum in Wellington that hate speech against transgender people may be disgusting but freedom of speech was a right.

He stood aside from the 2015 Auckland mayoralty race to make way for John Palino whose policy positions, he said, made his own candidacy unnecessary.


Berry was the Affordable Auckland candidate for the Auckland mayoralty in 2013 when he won around 13,000 votes, or 4 per cent.

National leader Simon Bridges will officially launch Bidois' campaign today.

The Green Party has announced it will also stand a candidate in Northcote.

New Zealand First has said it will not contest the seat, left vacant by former National minister Jonathan Coleman.

Coleman quit politics last month to run private health company Acurity.