Alex Walker retains Central Hawke's Bay Mayoralty with huge winning margin
Alex Walker has been re-elected Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay, with a huge margin over her rival.
Early results show that Walker will return for a second term as Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay District Council having won 4,583 votes compared to Darcie Meremere Tū Ahiahi Scowen's 307 votes.
She becomes the third female Mayor in Hawke's Bay this election, after Napier was won by Kirsten Wise and Hastings re-elected Sandra Hazlehurst.
Walker said she felt both honoured and privileged to receive such a strong mandate from her community.
"It's been an absolute privilege to serve my community over the last term and I cannot wait to continue my work as Mayor for this beautiful district in the next triennium," she said.
"It is incredibly exciting to have the new team elected; it is humbling to have such a strong mandate for my leadership and I am looking forward to the next 3 years of hard work for Central Hawke's Bay"
Central Hawke's Bay is represented by nine elected members which includes a Mayor, and eight Councillors representing two wards, the Ruataniwha Ward and the Aramoana / Ruahine Ward, each with four seats. In August, four councillors took uncontested positions to represent CHB's Ruataniwha Ward, leaving just the four Aramoana / Ruahine Ward seats and mayoralty up for grabs.
Six candidates competed for the four available seats in the Aramoana / Ruahine Ward - Darcie Meremere Tū Ahiahi Scowen, Kate Taylor, Tim Aitken, Jerry Greer, Hirani Maaka and Brent Muggeridge.
The highest polling candidate was Kate Taylor with 1,976 votes, followed by Tim Aitken with 1,719 votes, Jerry Greer with 1,701 votes, and Brent Muggeridge with 1,578.
If confirmed on Thursday this will bring three new faces to the council table for the next triennium.
Ruataniwha Ward councillors Tim Chote, Kelly Annand and Gerard Minehan, all current sitting councillors, retained their positions uncontested, joined by a new face Exham Wichman, born and bred in Otane and now living in Waipukurau.
Voter turn out in the district was 51.69 per cent. This was well down on the 62.7 per cent in 2016.
It was also down on the 55.2 per cent of 2013 and 56.2 per cent of 2010.