Far North vote up, Whangarei decreases

By Peter de Graaf, Mike Dinsdale

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Voter Marking a Ballot
Voter Marking a Ballot

While voting numbers were down nationally in the local body elections, the Far North's vote was up on the last election, while in Whangarei it was down slightly.

However, in the Kaipara, where there was no vote for the district council after the Government appointed commissioners to run the financially troubled council, the voter turnout plummeted to one of the lowest totals ever.

Nationally, voter numbers were around 40 per cent but, in the Far North, the final turnout was 48.9 per cent of the 37,450 eligible voters, up on 2010's 46.9 per cent, final election results released yesterday show.

In Whangarei, 47.74 per cent of the 55,079 eligible voters case their ballot, down on the 49.7 per cent who voted in 2010.

But in the Kaipara, only 32.58 per cent of the 13,340 registered voters cast their ballot, well down on the 53.5 per cent who voted in 2010, which was at that stage one of the highest returns in the country.

According to the final count, no election night results were overturned.

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai saw her 5437 votes on election night increase to 5502, while nearest rival Greg Martin - who stood on an anti-Hundertwasser platform - saw his 4080 votes on election night go to 4106, meaning Ms Mai's majority increased from 1357 on election night to 1396. The new WDC will be sworn in on October 30 at Forum North.

New Far North Mayor John Carter's majority has increased in the final vote count released yesterday, but the overall results remain unchanged from those announced on election day.

According to the final count, which includes special votes, Mr Carter gained 9604 votes compared to incumbent Wayne Brown's 2868; a majority of 6736. The election day majority was 6675. None of the candidate rankings changed.

The only result that could have been changed by special votes, in the Kawakawa-Moerewa subdivision of the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board, was also confirmed. Preliminary results had Margaret Wikaire leading Johnson Davis by just 23 votes; in the final results her lead widened slightly to 29 votes.

Four of the nine councillors are new, compared to 10 of the 19 community board members. Elected members will be sworn in with a powhiri at Kaikohe Memorial Hall on October 31.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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