Michael Laws squeaks back in: 'I have been taught a lesson'

8:10 pm on 14 October 2022

First published on Otago Daily Times

New Otago Regional Councillor Michael Laws.

Michael Laws says it's a crucial time for Otago Regional Council with its decisions set to affect thousands of lives and livelihoods. Photo: Supplied

Prominent Otago regional councillor Michael Laws says he has been taught a valuable lesson after being re-elected by 21 votes.

Preliminary results had Laws just 29 votes ahead of former Central Otago mayor Tony Lepper after last Saturday's poll.

With special votes counted that margin was reduced by eight votes in final results released today.

"Re-elected to the ORC. After specials all counted, the margin was 21 votes. WHEW!," Laws posted on his Facebook page this afternoon.

Laws joins Gary Kelliher and Alexa Forbes as the councillors for the Dunstan ward.

"As I said at the candidate public meetings, Dunstan ward tends to produce excellent candidates, any of which would be good regional councillors. Tony Lepper is no exception," Laws said in a statement.

"I have been taught a valuable lesson by this result and thank Dunstan's electors for that instruction. Closer community contact is required and much better personal communication.

"The next three years will be huge for the ORC: every decision we make will affect literally thousands of lives and livelihoods. We must get every decision right."

The new councillors are scheduled to be sworn in at their inaugural meeting at 10am on 26 October.

The next full council meeting is set for 9 November.

This story was first published by the Otago Daily Times.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs