Former Northland National MP John Carter is to stand for mayor in the Far North district.
Mr Carter has been New Zealand High Commissioner in the Cook Islands for the past 18 months and will cut short his term to return to start campaigning in July.
Mr Carter said he loves his job in Rarotonga, but believes he is needed in the Far North.
He said council politicians in Northland have lost the ability to work together for the common good and the district has suffered.
Mr Carter said that after 20 years as an MP working with politicians and electors of all types he has the skills needed to unify the north.
Mayor Wayne Brown recently revived his campaign for two unitary authorities in Northland - one of them in his district.
John Carter said he does not believe people have had a chance to look at other options that might work better.