Queenstown’s mayor wins second term

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Queenstown’s incumbent mayor Vanessa van Uden has been re-elected with a landslide victory at the polls.

Van Uden beat challenger Al Angus, of Glenorchy, by more than 4500 votes.

Election results show Van Uden received 6056 votes to 1509 for Angus, who also missed out on a seat on the council.

Angus received the least amount of votes for all 14 candidates standing for the six seats on the Queenstown/Wakatipu ward with just 613 votes.

Trevor Tattersfield, 72, lost his seat on the council, receiving 1307 votes.

Crs Cath Gilmour (2966 votes), Mel Gazzard (1686) and Simon Stamers-Smith (1578) were re-elected.

They will be joined by new councillors Craig Ferguson (2530), Alexa Forbes (2199) and Merv Aoake (1623)

Arrowtown councillor Lex Perkins was re-elected by default after no-one stood in that ward.

Van Uden says: “You want to have change. Of course I’m personally and professionally very sad to see those guys go.

“They played a really good role and brought different levels of skill and interest, they will be missed.

“But on the other hand it’s always good to have change and a turnaround of councillors because nobody lasts forever.

“[The new ones are] good guys. They’re community people. That’s the thing we need to remember, there is a balance. We still do though have to do business.

“It’s good to have a real good community voice, we’ve had that for three years, these guys bring a different avenue of it and that’s really cool.”

The local government elections saw the lowest voter turnout since 2007, with 44.9 per cent casting a vote by noon on Saturday. In 2007, 49 per cent of voting papers were returned compared to 50 per cent in 2010.

Lyal Cocks was the only councillor re-elected to one of the three Wanaka ward seats with 1797 votes.

Calum McLeod (2398) and Ella Lawton (1544) replace Leigh Overton (893) and Jude Battson (1367).

Queenstowner Jon Mitchell narrowly missed out on a seat on the Otago Regional Council with 2210 votes. Gerrard Eckhoff (2820), Graeme Bell (2678) and Gary Kelliher (2312) were elected.

Queenstowner Andrew Rutherford also missed out with 1636 votes. Blanks accounted for 2220 of the returns, with 26 spoiled.

In Queenstown’s mayoral race there were 872 blanks and 34 were spoiled of the 8471 total, with 20 blanks and 14 spoiled in the Queenstown/Wakatipu ward election.