The names of 15 Northland candidates in last year's local elections have been passed to police for failing to declare their campaign expenses.
The Local Electoral Act requires candidates to file details of how much they spent and any donations they received within 55 days of the official results. Any donations over $1500 also have to include the donor's name and address.
The deadline was on December 13 but candidates were given more than a month's leeway.
By midnight on Wednesday, when the amnesty ended, 15 Northland candidates still hadn't responded.
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They include nine candidates who stood in the Far North District Council and community board elections, three Whangārei District Council candidates, two would-be Northland District Health Board members and one Kaipara District Council candidate.
All Northland Regional Council candidates had filed their declarations by the time the grace period ended.
Electoral officer Dale Ofsoske, of Auckland-based Election Services, said the 15 names were forwarded to police at 9am on Thursday.
Ofsoske said the Act required candidates to return their forms by December 13, but from past experience he knew many had to be prompted to submit the information.
Since December 13 his staff had emailed the candidates twice and followed up with a phone call, when that was known.
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''The police in the past have often actioned these, resulting in the returns being submitted,'' Ofsoske said.
The 15 candidates include newcomers who may not have understood the rules but also experienced former Whangārei District councillor Crichton Christie and current Far North District councillor Mate Radich, who was returned for a third term.
Radich said he hadn't filled in the form because he had spent so little getting re-elected it wasn't worth it.
''My expenses were bugger-all. I never put any billboards up. I made a pamphlet with 12 words on it, which cost me $280. That was it.''
However, Radich said he would submit the form as required.
Op Shop frontman Jason Kerrison, who stood in the Far North District Council's Te Hiku ward, also failed to declare his expenses on time.
The Act also limits the amount candidates can spend but no Northlanders came close to breaching the cap. The limit is, for example, $40,000 for the Far North mayoralty and $20,000 for councillors in the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward.
Many candidates spent nothing at all while the biggest-spending mayoral candidates in the Far North forked out about $10,000.
■ The Act also states that candidates' expenses and donation returns must be made available to any member of the public who requests them, and they must remain available for a period of seven years. However, the law does not say how soon those returns should be made public. The returns were sent to Northland councils on December 17. They were published on the Northland Regional Council website about 1.30pm that day and at 3.30pm by the Kaipara District Council. The Far North District Council published the returns exactly one month later, on January 17. As of edition time yesterday the Whangārei District Council had still not made its returns public.