3 News reports:
National says the nominees will go before Northland party members before the final selection on February 28.
The nominees are Mita Harris, Matt King, Grant McCallum, Mark Osborne and Karen Rolleston.
“While the Northland electorate has been held by the national party for many years, by-elections traditionally see lower turnouts and smaller margins. We will not be taking Northland for granted,” party president Peter Goodfellow says.
Mita Harris is the Chair of the Northland Conservation Board. A member of ngapuhi, he stood for National in 2008. He is involved in numerous heritage, recreation and conservation projects in Northland.
Matt King is a local farmer, businessman and former police detective. He sought the nomination in 2011, and runs a private investigations company.
Grant McCallum is a local diary farmer and an elected board member on National's Board of Directors.
Mark Osborne is the general manager of the Te Ahu Trust.
Karen Rolleston has stood for National in previous elections. She is the CEO of 3P Learning, and lives in Kumeu.
I'd say Karen and Grant are the front runners but all five candidates are credible and strong, and it will come down to the 120 local delegates, as they meet them and hear from them over the next fortnight.