Newstalk ZB broadcaster Marcus Lush has been elected to the Invercargill City Council after receiving more than half of the votes already counted in the by-election.
A by-election was triggered when the former deputy mayor resigned in October, citing the strain of juggling her own duties as well as those of the mayor, and a toxic environment.
The council has come under increased scrutiny from the Department of Internal Affairs following reports of in-fighting and concerns about their ability to govern.
Voting closed at midday with nine candidates vying for the role.
Deputy electoral officer Michael Morris confirmed Lush had received more than 7000 votes out of the 13,991 which had been counted so far.
"While special votes still need to be counted, as well as any votes dropped off to our ballot boxes today, the margin between the candidates is significant enough that we are confident Mr Lush will be your next councillor," Morris said.
His three closest competitors received just over 1000 votes as of 1.30pm.
The results are based on 95 percent of the returned votes.
In his candidate statement, Lush said his focus on council would be to ensure that Invercargill did everything it could to be the best place in the country to raise a family.
He said encouraging, fostering and paving the way for new businesses was also needed.