Gerard Pain's main mandate when he decided to stand for the CHB mayoralty was to save the Makaroro River from the Ruataniwha dam, and give others who felt the same a chance to express their view.

In early results, a not insignificant 604 people responded to that call, and for those people he said he was glad he had provided that option, even though he did not reach anywhere near the polling he would have needed to wear the mayoral chains.

Mr Pain this afternoon congratulated fellow mayoral candidate Alex Walker on her win, and thanked those people who had supported him and voted for him.

"It's been fun and I want to thank the people who supported me with all sorts of things."

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Fellow mayoral candidate Sally Butler refused to comment.

Although unsuccessful in his bid, Mr Pain said he was pleased to see that the initial results showed there may be a shift in the balance of power at the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, with the election of anti-dam campaigner Paul Bailey in the Napier ward.

All incumbent Hawke's Bay Regional Council candidates have been re-elected, with 98 per cent of the votes counted, with Mr Bailey and fellow Napier-ward candidate the only newcomers.

In Central Hawke's Bay, incumbent Debbie Hewitt has been elected with 3,768 votes, ahead of newcomer Dan Elderkamp who secured 1,367.