Marcus Lush among nine candidates in race for spot on dysfunctional Invercargill City Council

Broadcaster Marcus Lush is among nine candidates campaigning for a seat in an Invercargill City Council by-election.

The former Deputy Mayor quit last October in frustration, and an independent report slammed the council as dysfunctional and lacking in leadership.

It was a day on the buses for Lush on Tuesday. He moved to Southland almost 20 years ago on a hunch, and hasn't looked back.

Now he's campaigning for a seat on the Invercargill City Council.

"[I'm] taking it very seriously," he said. "Someone needs to get in there that's a calm unifier, and bring the council together. Because people aren't happy with it."

That conflict saw Deputy Mayor Toni Biddle resign her seat last October.

A scathing report found a "leadership void" at the council, with Sir Tim Shadbolt struggling to perform his roles. Two independent observers are now in place to help steady the ship.

Despite all the problems, nine candidates are standing in the by-election.

Lush has the highest profile, with badges, signs, and T-shirts, but he's not the only broadcaster keen to help run the city.

Breakfast radio host Simon Edwards is in the running too. He believes there are good things going on in Invercargill, and wants to work collaboratively.

"You see lots of different people saying, 'I'll do this and I'll do that', and they're giving their opinion on things, where in reality it's about representing your community," he told Newshub.

Marcus Lush, Simon Edwards and Wayne Harpur.
Marcus Lush, Simon Edwards and Wayne Harpur. Photo credit: Newshub

Meanwhile former councillor Wayne Harpur is hoping for a comeback. He's bringing new ideas, like rebuilding Southland Museum in the heart of the city.

"In reality, just seeing the dysfunction that's been in the council over the last while and the governance experience that I've had, I just felt almost compelled really to put my name forward again," he said.

Postal voting is open for the next three weeks, with Invercargill's new councillor to be revealed in mid-February.