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Wellington’s Tory Whanau has convincingly won the mayoralty race for Te Whanganui-a-Tara in a triumph for diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand’s local government elections.

She said getting the call to say she had won was “pretty wild”.

Whanau ran as an independent, but was a Green Party chief of staff and digital director for six years before joining local politics.

She beat Andy Foster who was running for a second term as mayor after holding a seat on the city council since 1992. Foster finished second, Ray Chung came in third and Paul Eagle fourth.

In the other major cities, Phil Mauger was winning in Christchurch, Jules Radich prevailing in Dunedin and Wayne Brown claiming victory in Auckland, defeating the Pacific hopeful Fa’anānā Efeso Collins.

Paula Southgate is set to be re-elected as Hamilton’s mayor.

One-term councillor Jules Radich has won the Dunedin mayoralty off incumbent Aaron Hawkins. Radich garnered almost twice the number of first preference votes than any of his rivals.

Narrow lead
The Christchurch council said Mauger had a narrow 4000-vote majority over David Meates with 50,086 votes.

New Zealand's new mayors, according to the provisional results (from left): Auckland's Wayne Brown; Wellington's Tory Whanau; Christchurch's Phil Mauger; and Dunedin's Jules Radich.
New Zealand’s new mayors of the country’s major cities, according to the provisional results … Auckland’s Wayne Brown (from left); Wellington’s Tory Whanau; Christchurch’s Phil Mauger; and Dunedin’s Jules Radich. Image: RNZ

Brown is leading the Auckland mayoralty race with 144,619 votes, ahead of Efeso Collins by 54,808 votes. This progress result reflects about 85 to 90 per cent of votes counted after voting closed at midday today.

Progress results show Tim Shadbolt — who held the record for most elected terms as mayor, eight — losing heavily in Invercargill, with former deputy mayor Nobby Clark winning the top job in Invercargill, and broadcaster Marcus Lush conceding in a tweet.

Results also show Rangitikei mayor Andy Watson has won his fourth term in office, while Neil Brown has been re-elected Mayor of Ashburton by a large majority. Nigel Bowen looks to be re-elected as Timaru mayor and Kirsten Wise will return as Napier mayor for a second term.

Tania Tapsell has been elected as Rotorua’s new mayor. She takes over from Steve Chadwick, who was mayor for three terms. Vince Cocurullo is on track to win the Whangāreri mayoralty and Grant Smith has been releected as Palmerston North mayor.

Andrew Tripe will be the new mayor of Whanganui, beating incumbent Hamish McDouall by about 2000 votes, and Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy has been re-elected for another term.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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