Convincing win for Van Uden in Queenstown’s mayoralty race


Queenstown has a female mayor for the first time. 

In provisional election results released on Saturday, Vanessa van Uden convincingly beat rivals Simon Hayes and Michael Scott at the polls with 5087 votes. 

Real estate agent Hayes gained 2315 votes while roading inspector Scott took 943. 

Van Uden, who at 43 is also Queenstown Lakes District Council’s youngest mayor, will lead a partial new-look council with the election of three new councillors representing the Wakatipu ward. 

New to the chambers are: Lawyer Russell Mawhinney with 2303 votes, lawyer Simon Stamers-Smith (1981) and company director Trevor Tattersfield (1772). 

Cath Gilmour led the incumbent councillors – romping home with 3355 votes – followed by Mel Gazzard (2499) and John Mann (2425). 

Incumbent councillor Lex Perkins (524) narrowly beat Simon Spark (455) for the Arrowtown seat. 

Wanaka’s three seats go to incumbents Lyal Cocks (2219) and Leigh Overton (1512), plus new face Jude Battson (1635).

Other provisional results are:

Wakatipu ward
Annette Dalziel: 821
Kevin Peterson: 1523
Preston Stevens: 1394
Karen V. Swaine: 1407
Grahame Thorne: 1077
Geoff Wilson: 701

Wanaka ward
Jo Dippie: 760
Carrick Jones: 1012
Scott Jones: 1030