12 Oct 2019

Paula Southgate wins Hamilton mayoralty after narrowly missing out at last election

8:45 pm on 12 October 2019

The new mayor of Hamilton Paula Southgate has beaten the incumbent, Andrew King by nearly 2500 votes.

Hamilton mayoral candidate Paula Southgate

Paula Southgate has won the Hamilton mayoralty Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

At the last election, Ms Southgate narrowly missed out to Mr King by just six-votes.

Ms Southgate said she never took anything for granted.

"I didn't have a lot to throw at the campaign so I had to work quite smartly, and I relied on a huge number of volunteers and such to get me through this.

"I just was determined to play my best hand, this would have been my last chance to have a go, I don't think I would've taken on a third try."

In the past three-years she has been a city councillor having previously been the chairperson of the Waikato Regional Council.

Aside from the new mayor, the Hamilton City Council has a mix of newcomers and old-hands as it looks to the next three-years.

Former Kiwi Air founder Ewan Wilson and former New Zealand netballer Margaret Forsyth have been returned to council.

Angela O'Leary, who missed out on her run at the mayoralty was the top polling candidate in the West Ward.

Also re-elected are Martin Gallager, Mark Bunting, Dave Macpherson, Rob Pascoe, Ryan Hamilton and Geoff Taylor.

Three woman, all new to local government, have been elected to the 12-person council.

They are Kesh Naidoo-Rauf, Maxine van Oosten and Sarah Thomson.

Meanwhile, Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas has been returned for a third term with a preliminary majority of almost 3000 votes.

The progress results are based on approximately 95 percent of returned votes.

And Hauraki District has its first new mayor in 15 years with voters selecting deputy mayor Toby Adams for the top job with 4418 votes.

Earlier this year, the long-term incumbent mayor John Tregidga announced his intention to step down from the role, after more than three decades in local politics.

Mr Tregidga has been at the council helm since 2004.

The Waitomo District Council also has a new mayor, John Robertson.

Mr Robertson beat incumbent Brian Hanna by just 285 votes.

And Sandra Goudie has been returned as mayor of the Thames-Coromandel District, with more than 6400 votes.

Her closest rival was Len Salt with 3475 votes.

And Max Baxter has been returned as the mayor of Otorohanga District.

He won with a majority of nearly 700 votes.

While Ash Tanner is Matamata-Piako District's new mayor after beating Jan Barnes who had been mayor for the last six years.