The field for National's candidacy for the plum Tamaki seat remains wide open after three high profile contenders ruled themselves out ahead of the deadline for nominations at 10am today.

Tamaki, held with a massive 17,000 majority by Allan Peachey who is retiring due to ill health, is considered a prize National seat and was former Prime Minister Sir Rob Muldoon's power base for 31 years.

Ex Prime TV news presenter Suzy Clarkson, who is now Coca Cola's public affairs director, was approached by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett about standing there but the Herald understands she has chosen not to.

After indicating his interest early on, Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer has also decided against seeking the nomination, saying he believed he could "do more for the centre-right" as a city councillor.


Another early contender, well known Auckland National party figure Aaron Bhatnagar has also confirmed he will not contest the nomination.

However, former United Future president Denise Krum, ranked 69 on National's party list, has confirmed she is in the race.

Meanwhile, the Herald understands other contenders who have been approaching National Party delegates in Tamaki for support in the selection process include public relations consultant Mark Thomas who was National's candidate in Wellington Central in 1996.

Mr Thomas's bid for parliament then was derailed when Prime Minister Jim Bolger publicly backed the Act candidate Richard Prebble.

Also understood to be pursuing the candidacy are former Auckland City Councillor Toni Millar, National's Waitakere electorate chairman Christopher Penk and actor entrepreneur and BMX rider David Mark Harrison.