An exuberant Tim Shadbolt has been returned as Mayor of Invercargill, setting a record as New Zealand's longest-serving mayor.
Mr Shadbolt, who said he was delighted with the result, was first elected in Invercargill in 1993 but lost the following election before being returned again in 1998 and holding the position ever since. He was mayor of Waitakere for two terms from 1983 before heading south.
"This is an historic record and I like those sort of records. I'm a bit of an amateur historian and it's great," he said.
Mr Shadbolt has some major issues to face in his next term, including the future of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter and the associated 3500 jobs.
But he said those issues would be tackled by a stable council, with all sitting councillors would sought re-election returned, plus three new additions, Mr Shadbolt said.
Tong wins Southland
Meanwhile, Gary Tong steps into some big shoes as he takes over the Southland District mayoralty from Frana Cardno, who has stepped down after serving as mayor since 1993.
Mr Tong said there would be pressure to live up to Mrs Cardno's strong record.
His first test as mayor will be when the decision about the Fiordland Monorail project is released later this year. He opposes the monorail but Conservation Minister Nick Smith has received a report from an independent commissioner recommending it go ahead.
Mr Tong says says he is against the monorail and will voice that opposition to the minister.