For many this election was a bit of an unknown.

With both Tauranga mayor Stuart Crosby and Western Bay Mayor Ross Paterson standing down there was no obvious front-runner for either job.

The sheer number of candidates - 11 for the Tauranga City mayoralty and five for Western Bay - meant it was always going to be fairly close with the votes split across so many.

I was surprised to see new Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless win with a margin of almost 2000 in this afternoon's progress results.

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For a new mayor that has to be an encouragement.

This term's Tauranga City council looks set to be a mix of current and new councillors.

I'm hopeful that will mean a healthy mix of experience, fresh ideas and enthusiasm. A council which will lead our growing city into the future.

The results of the Western Bay of Plenty elections were even closer with only 1906 votes separating new mayor Garry Webber and Kevin Tohiariki - the lowest polling mayoral candidate.

The Western Bay District Council also has a few new names in the mix - again I'm hopeful the balance of experience and new blood will mean good things.

It is an exciting time for the Bay with two new mayors at the helm.

I look forward to seeing what they each bring to their roles and what changes are in store.

The Bay needs to keep moving forward a change of leadership might be just what we need to make sure that happens.