A new political party will be launched next month to contest Wellington's local body elections.
It's the second new party to form recently ahead of the vote in October.
Wellington City's mayoral race remains, well, not much of a race, with incumbent Justin Lester being the only person to announce a bid for the top job.
But it's still early days, nominations for local body candidates don't actually open until July 19 and they will remain so until midday August 16.
Another Wellington Party for Wellington
Mike Loftus is one of several founders behind a new party called the Wellington Party.
His previous experience includes involvement with the National Party at electorate and regional levels.
A post on the party's Facebook page said its candidates would contest Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council and District Health Board (DHB) elections.
"We have an amazing roster of very strong candidates, but are seeking a further candidate for the Wellington City Council election in each the Eastern and Southern wards."
Loftus told the Herald they're not yet ready to talk publicly about the party but confirmed a launch date of June 25.
A decision would not be made on a mayoral candidate for a couple of weeks, he said.
In a LinkedIn article published in February Loftus said WCC lacked a coordinated and thought through strategy.
"The current council seem content in pursuing short term projects sprinkled with the odd personal legacy defining pet project. Examples of this include the light rail to the airport project, indoor stadium on the waterfront and the growing social housing monopoly."
In December last year it was revealed a pro-car political party had formed, called the Wellington First Party.
Party founder Bryan Weyburne confirmed at the time they were looking to run a mayoral candidate and local ward candidates in this year's election.
But the party has stayed quiet since that announcement.
Wellington's mayoralty remains a one horse race with incumbent Justin Lester launching his campaign earlier this month.
He's started with three promises- removing private vehicles from the Golden Mile, ending homelessness and creating a Welcome Home package for refugees following the Christchurch terror attack.
Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford said it was no surprise two of those promises were already lined up for Central Government money, with Lester running for a second term on the Labour ticket.
In a pre-budget announcement the Government said it would spend almost $200 million on housing 2700 long-term homeless people in New Zealand.
Housing First services for 200 people in Wellington, including the Hutt Valley, will begin during June.
Meanwhile, prioritising buses and improvements for people walking and cycling on the Golden Mile is part of Let's Get Wellington Moving's early delivery programme.
The Government will foot 60 per cent of the $6.4b project, with WCC and GWRC stumping up with the rest.
Lester said part of his job was to advocate to government to get support for local projects.
He said he would be making further promises throughout his campaign, but would not be pressed on what issues they would focus on.
Lester versus [fill in the blank]
In 2016 there were eight candidates vying for the top job in Wellington City.
Lester said he enjoyed the competition of that campaign, which included more than 40 public meetings.
"I expect there to be robust contest of ideas and I expect and look forward to debating the issues and a competing vision with any other individual."
But the only individual to publicly confirm their consideration for the mayoralty is Wellington Saints CEO and hospitality mogul Nick Mills.
Mills said he was still interested in the role but hadn't made up his mind.
"I've been meeting with a lot of people, talking to a lot of people and finding there is a lot of unhappiness in the way the city has been handled.
"I haven't made a decision yet because I've been flat out opening a new restaurant, but I'm definitely getting close to making a decision one way or the other."
The city felt "flat" and someone needed to stand against Lester, Mills said.
"There needs to be more transparency in local government. I think there needs to be a leader that wants to take our city to being the best city in the world."
John Milford echoed the call for competition.
He said it was nothing personal, but a strong candidate needed to stand against Lester.
"The more candidates, and serious credible candidates, bring a healthy debate and a healthy focus on local issues to the table."
Where to find the action
While Wellington City doesn't have a mayoral race, other areas in the region are heating up with political contests.
Gwynn Compton is standing against incumbent K Gurunathan in Kapiti.
It appears Gurunathan is yet to swing into campaign mode, but Compton has been busy crunching numbers and pumping out press releases on issues ranging from money spent on the council's website to a surge in emergency housing grants.
Current sitting councillor Ana Coffey is standing against incumbent Mike Tana in Porirua.
Both have been eager to prove the work they've done to get a vote across the line giving directly-employed staff the Living Wage of $21.15.
Hutt City mayor Ray Wallace is also facing a challenge from around his own council table.
Councillor Campbell Barry was ramping up his Facebook efforts well before he launched his campaign for the mayoralty in April.
His most recent move focused on concerns about the council charging fees after the first hour spent searching for official information.