Local body elections are often accused of being boring, but there's been plenty of reasons to smile during the most recent campaign.
Don't vote for me
She was the accidental candidate, after a form mishap saw Kay Boreham find herself trapped in a council race she did not want to be part of.
The Whakatāne-Ōhope Community Board member wanted to stand for the board again, but filled the wrong form and became a candidate for Whakatāne District Council.
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She couldn't fulfil the duties of councillor even if elected and would have to force a costly byelection, prompting her to launch an unusual 'don't vote for me' campaign.
Further south, Julian Lee's name is also on the ballot for the Mackenzie District mayoralty after the Seven Sharp journalist joined the race in a story to highlight the lack of nominations in local body elections, but then missed the deadline to withdraw.
And teen barber Stacey Rose was stunned to be elected unopposed to a seat on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council — he entered the race to draw attention to youth-focused issues, but was now ready to "get stuck in and make a real difference".
A most relaxing campaign
A four-way contest for the mayoral chains, including strong challenges from a former deputy mayor and a sitting deputy mayor, wasn't enough to put the wind up long-time Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt.
Never one to follow convention, the activist-turned-concrete contractor-turned public servant spurned last minute campaigning for a family holiday in Auckland the week before voters decided his fate.
He's got the toothy grin down pat, and a memorable slogan, but if elected Frank might've been the first mayor happy to drink from the toilet bowl.
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The bulldog's face and his slogan "Vote #1 Frank - In it for the b*****s" delighted Lower Hutt residents, prompting one to add the democracy hound to her voting paper.
Creative billboards were also erected for other fake candidates, including one urging Aucklanders to vote for Animal from The Muppets .
"Your (sic) going to get a muppet anyway."
Winner for most laidback message went to Mark Sheaff, who gate-crashed the Tauranga local elections — he's not a candidate — with a billboard showing him mid-snooze and a platform of "I'll do my best, but I can't promise anything".
Dillon Tooth, with help from his wife, won over some in his Waitākere ward community — where he was running for a seat on Auckland Council — with his do-it-yourself billboards made from pallets donated by locals and hand-painted by his wife, Esther .
"I could've gone to the industrial areas and got pallets, but I really wanted to get out there and talk to the community."
Invasion of the strangers
Candidates for a local board and mayoral race saw red after the wrong photos were put in candidate booklets sent to thousands of voters.
Tricia Cheel was shocked to discover the photo of a male Horizon Regional Council candidate next to her statement in the booklet. And Kaipātiki Local Board candidate Danielle Grant opened her booklet to discover a stranger's photo had been put next to her name.
"I have absolutely no idea who the woman in the photo might be."