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Winston Peters' top 10 leaked

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 15:27 20/08/2014

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Names touted as the top 10 candidates on the New Zealand First list have been leaked in advance of its official list release this week. 

Party leader Winston Peters was ranked at No 1, and deputy leader Tracey Martin was at No 2 automatically under the party's constitution.

Stuff understands current MPs Richard Prosser, Barbara Stewart and Denis O'Rourke complete the top 5.

Former MP Ron Mark is set to return to the party, and is ranked at 9.

Former MP Pita Paraone and Tauranga candidate Clayton Mitchell are understood to round off the top 10, along with Palmerston North candidate Darroch Ball and Ria Bond from Invercargill.

Paraone was elected to Parliament after the 2002 election, and remained an MP until 2008 when NZ First polled below the 5 per cent threshold and lost all its parliamentary seats.

He was elected a Chairman of the Waitangi Trust Board in 2009.

Mitchell announced he was running as the New Zealand First candidate for the Tauranga electorate in July. He is a Tauranga city councillor.

Bond was elected to the national board of NZ First in June 2012.

Ball was selected as the board's Vice-President of the North Island in October 2013.

Stuff revealed yesterday a draft copy of the list had MP Andrew Williams dumped to a seemingly unelectable spot at 13.

Williams was No 3 on the party list at the 2011 election.

NZ First would need to get more than 10 per cent of the vote on election night for Williams to return to Parliament.

The latest Stuff/Ipsos poll had the party on 3.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, the party's other current MP Asenati Lole-Taylor is set to be relegated to No 17.

Lole-Taylor was ranked was 8th on the list at the 2011 election.

NZ First got eight MPs after the 2011 election, but has had seven in Parliament since Brendan Horan was expelled from the party in 2012 and became an independent MP.

Peters would not comment on the candidate rankings as the process was confidential, but said yesterday the release of the list was imminent.

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