Southland Mayor Frana Cardno has been elected for a seventh straight term after easily beating newcomer Roderick Young.
The landslide victory of more than 6783 votes compared with Mr Young's 1643 votes extends Mrs Cardno's record as the longest serving female mayor ever in New Zealand. Only two percent of votes were yet to be counted.
Mrs Cardno has been in the top position since 1992, having joined as a councillor at the start of the newly amalgamated Southland District Council in 1989.
"It is a definite win and a vote of confidence and I am delighted. It is always good to have an election. It is good to be able to say that people want you to stay there,'' Mrs Cardno said.
Unsuccessful mayoral candidate Rod Young would be encouraging all of the Southland District Council members to stand down so there could be a ``proper'' election.
He believed he would have personally done well in the smaller wards where there was lower voter turnout, he had a six-year plan and would be standing again at the next election.
The council remains almost exactly the same with elections only required in the Wallace ward plus the mayoralty.
In Wallace sitting councillor Brian Drummond (308 votes) lost his seat to Stuart Baird (522 votes).
Several of the 12 community boards had competitive elections including Lumsden, Riverton-Aparima, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Tuatapere and Winton.
Southland District Council (Full Results)
CARDNO, Frana Grace
DOUGLAS, John (re-elected unopposed)
DOBSON, Rodney Alexander (re-elected unopposed)
FORD, Bruce James (re-elected unopposed)
RIDLEY, Antoinette Diane (re-elected unopposed)
COPLAND, James Douglas (re-elected unopposed)
DUFFY, Paul (re-elected unopposed)
HARPUR, George Edward James (re-elected unopposed)
JACK, Wallace (re-elected unopposed)
DILLON, Brian John (re-elected unopposed)
BAIRD, Stuart Andrew (NEW)
MACPHERSON, Gavin John (re-elected unopposed)
BAILEY, Lyall Ashley (re-elected unopposed)
- The Southland Times