An 18-year-old is one of at least 34 candidates vying for a spot on the Rotorua Lake Council, while a fourth candidate is now in the mayoral race.

Nominations for local body elections closed at midday yesterday, and the lists were still being finalised when the Rotorua Daily Post went to print.

Fisher Wang, who is in his first year out of school this year, entered the contest because he wanted the age of local councillors to "better represent our community".

Fisher Wang. Photo / Supplied
Fisher Wang. Photo / Supplied

"Most of the decisions being made are going to affect young people a lot more than the middle-aged councillors. We should have more of a say."


Wang said he had always been interested in politics and decision making, and followed the 2016 elections closely.

"I think that's when the spark happened. Even in high school, I had always wanted to represent and help our community."

He hoped that having more young people on the council would encourage other youth to engage with politics and local issues.

Climate change issues were another trigger for his campaign.

"It would be really good if we could broaden the range of views we have on the council, to tackle this," Wang said.

Former deputy chairman of the Tourism Industry Association and former general manager of Destination Rotorua, Oscar Nathan, was also among the dozens competing for one of the 10 available spots on the Rotorua Lakes Council at large.

Oscar Nathan. Photo / File
Oscar Nathan. Photo / File

Karen Hunt and Charles Sturt are the only incumbent councillors who are not seeking re-election.

Meanwhile, Dennis Curtis has joined Steve Chadwick, Rob Kent and Reynold Macpherson in the mayoral race.


Curtis was born and raised in Rotorua and told the Rotorua Daily Post he and his family were part of the Rotoiti, Rotoehu and Rotomā communities.

Dennis Curtis. Photo / Supplied
Dennis Curtis. Photo / Supplied

He said he had a "great understanding of commercial and community wellbeing".

His career has focused on business in New Zealand and overseas, involving executive roles, as well as leadership roles in Te Arawa organisations, including his time as the general manager of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Pikiao.

Curtis said he was running for mayor "because our communities have been calling out for action for many years ... so too is our environment".

He said he wanted to "meaningfully engage with our communities and translate the words that are written in documents into action".

"It's about a more sustainable future for our children," he said.

Just three candidates have their names in the ring for the two Rotorua constituency Bay of Plenty Regional Council roles.

Katie Paul. Photo / Supplied
Katie Paul. Photo / Supplied

Former Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust chairwoman Katie Paul is the latest in the mix, alongside Lyall Thurston and Kevin Winters.

Another 17 candidates are hoping to become one of seven Lakes District Health Board members.

Ngahi Bidois. Photo / File
Ngahi Bidois. Photo / File

That includes author and international leadership speaker Ngahi Bidois and award-winning human rights lawyer and global expert on socio-economic development, Claire Mahon.

Claire Mahon. Photo / File
Claire Mahon. Photo / File

In terms of the Rotorua Lakes Council's community boards, seven candidates are listed for the four Lakes Community Board roles and another six candidates for the Rural Community Board roles.

Electoral officer Warwick Lampp told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday morning, "It will take some time yet to verify everything".

"When the list is final, it will say so on our website ... There is usually a last-minute rush. It's super busy."

Voting forms will start to arrive from September 20 and early results will be known on October 12.

Election candidate lists

Rotorua Lakes Council (mayor)

Chadwick, Stephanie (Steve) Anne

Curtis, Dennis

Kent, Rob (Independent)

Macpherson, Reynold (Residents and Ratepayers)

Rotorua Lakes Council (councillors)
Bentley, Peter
Carrington, Liz (Community Health and Wellbeing)
Collins, Richard (Think Positive for a positive future)
Coutts, Kevin
Davis, Brendan (Your voice on council)
Deverson, Alan (Independent)
Donaldson, Dave
Gould, Mark (Independent)
Gray, Ryan (Realising Our Potential)
Hedges, Bill (Independent)
Hosking, Trish (Independent)
Jones, Peter (Independent)
Kai Fong, Sandra
Kent, Rob (Independent)
Kerry, Julie (Independent - All the Way with JK)
Kumar, Raj (Residents and Ratepayers)
Macpherson, Reynold (Residents and Ratepayers)
Martin, Matthew (Matt) (Independent)
Maxwell, Trevor
McKenzie, Lachlan (Residents & Ratepayers Vote for Change)
Mutlow, Lance (Independent)
Nathan, Oscar
O'Brien, Conan (Residents and Ratepayers)
Rakei-Clark, John (Independent Residential Initiative)
Raukawa-Tait, Merepeka
Rowbotham, Linda (Bringing Communities Together)
Rupapera, Harina Rinaha (Conservation and Education)
Solomon, Alan Tane (Making a Difference)
Sparke, Kaya (Independent)
Tapsell, Tania (Independent)
Trumper, Shirley
Wang, Fisher (Independent)
Whare, Bam
Yates, Mercia

Rotorua Lakes Community Board (members)
Chater, Nick
Engelen, Reina
Estcourt, Allan
Goodwin, Sandra (Independent)
Manuel, Robyn
Rothwell, Jennifer (Independent)
Thomass, Phill

Rural Community Board (members)
Clark, Rachel
Dorman, Janine
Heard, Bryce
Hollier, Ben
Thomson, Sarah (Independent)
Trumper, Shirley (Rural Rotorua First)

Lakes District Health Board (members)
Batt, Jean (Independent)
Bidois, Ngahihi-o-te-ra (Independent)
Bray, Aroha
Burns, Stuart (Elect for Professional Governance)
Gallagher, Olive
Gower, Suzanne
Horton, Janine (Independent - Clinically based, practical perspective)
Leonard, Kylie
Macfarlane, Tangihaere (Women's Health League (Rotorua Branch))
Mahon, Claire
McGrath, Liz
Morreau, Johan (Understands Health)
Rankin, Christine
Raukawa-Tait, Merepeka
Tattle, Andrew
Thurston, Lyall
Vigor-Brown, Rob

Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Rotorua constituency councillors)
Paul, Katie Priscilla (Living & Working for Rotorua)
Thurston, Lyall
Winters, Kevin