Jono Naylor wins in landslide

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor has been re-elected in a landslide.

Preliminary results show he attracted 16,564 votes, delivering a crushing defeat to his nearest rival, Mark Bell-Booth, who received 2199 votes.

Mr Bell-Booth, mayor from 2001 to 2004, said afterwards he had had his final crack at city politics.

There was double delight for the Naylor family when it was announced that Mr Naylor's wife Karen had also been elected to the MidCentral District Health Board.

Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie was also re-elected, comfortably seeing off the challenge of councillor Steve Gibson.

However, Horizons Regional Council chairman Garrick Murfitt has been dumped, thrashed in the Tararua constituency by Dannevirke farmer John Barrow.

Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei president Gordon McKellar has also been elected onto Horizons.

Tararua's new mayor is Roly Ellis and Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy saw off the challenge by Anne Hunt.

Rangitikei Mayor Chalky Leary was elected unopposed.

In Palmerston North, Mr Naylor will have a significantly different team of councillors to work with.

Nikki Guy, sister of slain Feilding farmer Scott Guy, was among the new candidates elected to the council, along with Tangi Utikere, Susan Baty and Billy Meehan.

Adrian Broad also returns after a term on council from 2004 to 2007, ousting Peter Wheeler.

David Ireland and veteran councillor Gordon Cruden also missed out.

Mr Naylor said the council would miss Dr Cruden's experience, particularly his chairmanship of the hearings committee.

There is a tight race in the Ashhurst-Fitzherbert ward to see which candidate will join incumbent Bruce Wilson.

Duncan McCann appears to have done just enough to beat Margaret May, with a 16-vote advantage, but a final result is yet to be confirmed. 

In a non-binding referendum, 11,503 people said residents should be able to vote for all councillors through citywide voting. That was slightly more than the 9928 people who voted for wards to be retained.

Palmerston North residents appeared happy with the number of councillors. Most people said the number should stay at 15.

Mr Naylor's victory came after a poll commissioned by the Manawatu Standard showed, early in the race, that he had an enormous lead.

Mr Bell-Booth had emphasised what he saw as the council's failure to adapt to tough economic conditions.

Mr Naylor had a broader platform, promoting the city's vision of being caring, creative and sustainable.

Manawatu Standard