Whakatāne District Council candidate Kay Boreham is in the middle of a comedy of errors that would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

Boreham, a current Whakatāne-Ōhope Community Board member, is describing herself as an "accidental candidate" after downloading and completing the wrong form for local body elections.

"Despite the paperwork being receipted as a nomination for the Whakatāne-Ōhope Community Board, it progressed through to the Returning Officer as a ward candidacy," Boreham said.

The Electoral Officer has since confirmed there is no ability to change a nomination after 12 noon, August 16, or to withdraw a nomination.

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"I completely own the original error. It was never my intention to stand for full council in this term and I will therefore be asking people not to put a tick against my name when they receive their voting papers," Boreham said.

Aware that running a "don't vote for me" campaign could have the opposite effect as to what was intended, Boreham said she could not stress enough she did not want a role as a councillor.

"It is absolutely imperative people don't vote for me," Boreham said. "I am not doing this to raise my profile, I do not want to be elected."

With the approval of chairs, Boreham will be asking for a statement to be read at any candidate meetings asking people not to put a tick beside her name, and will also be using social media to get the "don't vote for me'"message out.

"It is essential that people don't vote for me, as in the unlikely event I gained enough votes within the crowded field of 18 candidates for five positions, I wouldn't be able to take up the role as it's incompatible with my current employment."

She said the worst-case scenario would be to be elected because that would create the need for a by-election. "There's absolutely no way I want to put our community through that process and expense."

Boreham has apologised to the candidates standing in the Whakatāne-Ōhope ward saying she was mortified at her error.

"It would possibly be funny if the consequences weren't so dire.

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"People who read the booklet that accompanies the voting papers will see that my candidate profile seeks support for another term on the community board, and again, I apologise for any confusion that may cause.

"I'm naturally disappointed that I now don't have an opportunity to serve another term on the community board. My reason for seeking election in 2016 was to see boards used as a means for greater engagement between community and council and I've really enjoyed the supermarket aisle discussions and being part of the events and open days where we've taken the LTP and other consultations out to a wider demographic.

"I've also been heartened at the number of increasingly diverse initiatives that the board has supported through the careful allocation of its discretionary fund."