Jim Boult has been re-elected as Queenstown Lakes District mayor with 5,535 of 10,320 votes cast, based on provisional results.
Boult beat local hotelier Nik Kiddle (3,337) and Glenorchy candidate Al Angus (1,176).
Results are based upon the counting of 95 per cent of the returned votes, although they do not count special votes or ones in transit.
In 2016’s final result, Boult took 6,050 of the votes cast.
In a statement this afternoon, Boult thanked the people of the district for their support and trust, but said he was “disgusted’ by comments made about his family during a difficult campaign.
“This campaign has not been without its challenges.
“I have always followed the mantra of playing the issue, not the person. The constant sniping from the sidelines, twisting of words and questioning motives, via social media, has been extremely disappointing. In particular, I have been disgusted by the comments targeting my family.”
Results in the Queenstown-Wakatipu Ward are extremely close and are subject to change.
However, the following people have been provisionally elected: Craig (Ferg) Ferguson (3,171 votes); Valerie Miller (2,824); Penny Clark (2,718); John MacDonald (2,556); Niki Gladding (2,107); Glyn Lewers (1,959).
Further results for the Queenstown-Wakatipu Ward are as follows: AJ Mason (1,954), Peter Faul (1,881), John Glover (1,815) and Grant Scannell (1,235).
The three Wanaka councillors are Quentin Smith (2,800 votes), Calum MacLeod (2,230) and Niamh (Neeve) Shaw (2,022).
Wanaka board members are: Bruce Barry (2,428 votes), Chris Hadfield (2,300), Ed Taylor (2,157) and Jude Battson (2,129).
Heath Copland was the sole candidate to stand for the single Arrowtown seat, and is elected unopposed.
He replaces Scott Stevens, who stood down.
The voter return was 43.93%, being 10,320 votes, excluding votes in transit to the processing centre and special votes.
A further preliminary result will be announced around 5pm.
Former Queenstown councillor Alexa Forbes was elected to the Otago Regional Council.
Boult praised those who had the courage to stand for council and said his job is to repay the trust shown in him by continuing to deliver.
“It is very easy to stand on the sidelines and criticise. It is far harder to do something concrete about the issues which confront us.
“It is dealing with these issues that drives me. I cannot deny there are some highly frustrating aspects to the role of mayor, but it is also one of the most deeply satisfying things I have done – seeing more locals now able to afford their own home in our district, people using public transport, and the Government recognising our ratepayers need help to fund tourist infrastructure.
“The focus now is on resolving the airport issues, preparing for climate change, planning Wanaka’s town centre upgrade, extending the public transport service and building cycleways, among many other things, and I am genuinely excited about getting on with this work.”
He praised his “outstanding” election team and his family.
“Looking forward, I am excited about welcoming the new council next week and making a flying start on delivering on the promises and undertakings I have made.”