Sir Tim Shadbolt faces two challengers for Invercargill mayoralty

Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt is facing three challengers this election - including two from within his own council ranks - as he looks to extend his record as the country's longest-serving Mayor.

Sir Tim's held the city's top job for almost a quarter of a century - but despite his age, he is not yet done.

Knighted in the New Year Honours, the 72-year-old insists he's still got the passion and drive to lead Invercargill.

"What makes you a good mayor is your ability to be a good political fighter. And I've been fighting political in this country for a long time," he told Newshub.

Deputy Mayor Becs Amundsen is challenging her boss for the top job.

The second-term councillor is excited for Invercargill's future, with a major rebuild in the CBD underway.

"I definitely feel that there's a call for change. I think people are ready to move into a new phase for Invercargill and especially in terms of leadership," she told Newshub.

Radio station manager Darren Ludlow spent five years serving as Sir Tim's deputy. However he's one of a number of councillors raising concerns about the Mayor's focus and ability to lead and control meetings.

"Tim's an icon and has tremendous popularity. But it is waning a little," he told Newshub. "Council is restless, and we need more firm and present leadership."

The pair believe that after a quarter of a century, it's time for a new face for Invercargill. But Sir Tim disagrees.

"Yeah, well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" he laughs. "Oh no, not likely!"

Sir Tim does want some new blood around the Council table, but is determined to fight off these fresh challengers to keep his job and Invercargill on the map.

A third challenger for the mayoral chains is Steve Chernishov, who has never held a council seat, but has a background in education, graphic design and business.