18 Aug 2010

Local body nominations slow in many areas

3:52 pm on 18 August 2010

Some high-profile contenders still have not officially put their names forward for the local body elections in October.

Nominations for seats on councils, community boards, district health boards, licensing trusts and for mayoral positions, close at midday on Friday.

This year, all eyes are on Auckland's new local government structure and it seems the novelty is translating into nominations - 168 candidates so far for the 170 different positions on offer.

But the leading Auckland mayoralty prospects - John Banks, Len Brown and Andrew Williams - have yet to put in their nomination.

Hamilton's electoral officer Anthony Dick is also pleased with his region's interest in council roles, which he says is higher than at the last election.

Most areas are, however, reporting small numbers of nominations.

In Christchurch, neither mayor Bob Parker nor his challenger Jim Anderton have registered. However electoral officer Clare Sullivan says after a very slow start she has received 40 nominations for council seats in the past two days.

Wellington's electoral officer Ross Bly says he had not yet received a nomination from incumbent mayor Kerry Prendergast, though three others are in.

There are so few contenders for the Queenstown Lakes District Council, that its electoral officer says there may be no need for an election.