Derek Shaw's ousting in the polls has ended the tenure of one of the longest-serving councillors in the country.
Mr Shaw, who missed out on re-election to the Nelson City Council by 179 votes to finish 13th in the council rankings behind Eric Davy, could not rule out the possibility it was linked to his late show of support for Aldo Miccio, who was also ejected.
Mr Shaw said in good humour the answer as to why was obvious: "I didn't get enough votes."
The 60-year-old who has been in local government half his life, was not overly concerned as he had enough projects to carry on with, both professionally as a book publisher, and with his interests in masters athletics.
His foray into local government happened in 1984 when he was eventually elected to council in a byelection after an unsuccessful first couple of attempts.
In 1980 he was the "highest polling unsuccessful candidate" for the catchment board and council. He stood again in 1983, got elected to the catchment board but missed out on a spot at the councillors' table. The 1984 by-election was triggered by the resignation of Ian Gourdie following a reshuffle of councillor duties.
Councillor colleagues Pete Rainey and Rachel Reese credited Mr Shaw for his huge contribution following yesterday's defeat.
"He was unquestionably ‘up there' on the list of hardest working councillors," Mr Rainey said.
Ms Reese said Mr Shaw would leave a huge gap around the council table. She said his knowledge and thoughtfulness would be a real loss to the community, but he also served it in many other ways and would continue to do so.
Mr Shaw was a latecomer to the alliance of up-front Miccio supporters, and he could not ignore that as a possible factor in his demise.
"It's hard to know as all the others who supported him got in, but I guess it was always a risk.
"A few people last night [Saturday] told me they hadn't voted for me because of it, but the number of votes I got was not too far off last time."
Mr Shaw got 5496 votes this time compared with 5707 in 2010 when he polled ninth.
He said before the election he was standing again because he had unfinished business, but yesterday he said no-one could ever assume they would get back in.
He pointed out that after the top six polling candidates, who were all elected with upwards of 6000 votes, there was not a lot separating the remaining seven, which included himself.
Mr Shaw's immediate focus would be completing a book on the historic ship, the Edwin Fox. He was also busy with the Brook Sanctuary development, and planned to go tramping, paint the family home and prepare for next year's Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in Bendigo, Australia.
- © Fairfax NZ News