Hastings district councillor Simon Nixon said he is pleased to keep his seat in the Hastings District Council elections after "not doing a lot" for his election campaign.
"I decided early on it made no difference if you came first or last, if you got in," he said.
"I tried to do the amount that I thought would get me back in without getting past that point."
He was surprised newcomers Bayden Barber and Geraldine Travers also won a seat in Hastings-Havelock North Ward because they also had low-key campaigns "but I did think Damon Harvey would get in, because he has got bloody signs everywhere".
He was "shattered" fellow sitting councillor Wayne Bradshaw lost his seat in the election.
The pair were often vocal critics of mayor Lawrence Yule and in the last election ran against him in the mayoral election.
"Wayne was quite useful in that respect - he was very good at ploughing through the records and digging up what they had said and done in the past and throwing it back at them.
"That talent has been removed, so I'll just have to work harder."
With a seat on the Hawke's Bay Airport board representing the council he said he wants to continue improving air services but also wants to lobby for improved education.
"We are being grossly under-funded."