Friday the 15th was the first day candidates could officially file their intentions to stand for this year’s local body elections, by registering with local election officers.

The nomination window closes on 12 August.

So now political groupies watch, wait and speculate.

Most incumbents will stand for re-election, but some notables who have indicated they are not seeking re-election are Rick Barker (HBRC), Henare O’Keefe and Bayden Barber (HDC), and Tania Wright and Api Tapine (NCC).

Three of our mayors will be seeking re-election — Kirsten Wise, Sandra Hazlehurst and Alex Walker. Craig Little is still ‘keeping his powder dry’ as they say.

The new Māori wards in place for HDC and HBRC will attract some new faces.

Voting itself begins (by mail ballot) 16 September and closes 8 October.

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