Cynthia Bowers is both surprised and disappointed to have failed in her bid for the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

The outgoing Hastings District deputy mayor said she thought she would have carried enough of her support base across to the Regional Council "but clearly I haven't".

She said she left one council for the other because of her strong environmental beliefs but her conditional support of the Ruataniwha Dam may have been a factor in her defeat, as evidenced by new anti-dam faces on the council such as Paul Bailey.

She said she enjoyed her 21 years at Hastings District Council "but I'm not looking back, saying I wish I'd not made the decision to stand for Regional, because what is done is done".

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"I'm about looking forward, not backwards."

She said she will remain as the Horse of the Year Hawke's Bay's council-appointed director and chair in the short term for the sake of continuity, but could possibly become an independent director until the end of the financial year at the end of May.

"I have lots of other opportunities and I'm a strong believer that when one door opens another opens - I need to see what comes out of the woodwork.

"I had hoped the next chapter would be in the Regional Council, but that's not what the voters have wanted.

"I'll go on to do something else. It's quite liberating."