Dunedin mayor Dave Cull has secured a second term and will head a Dunedin City Council featuring six new faces and one returning veteran.

Mr Cull will head a council featuring the return of David Benson-Pope - a former councillor and Cabinet Minister - as well as newcomer and writer Neville Peat.

However, two long-serving councillors, Paul Hudson and Teresa Stevenson, have failed in their bid to win re-election.

Preliminary results released this afternoon show Mr Cull has fended off a challenge from nine mayoral rivals, including Lee Vandervis and former Act New Zealand MP Hilary Calvert.

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Both would take their seats as councillors instead, Mr Vandervis for a third time and Ms Calvert for the first time.

They would be joined as councillors by fellow unsuccessful mayoral candidates Aaron Hawkins, the Green Party candidate, golf professional Andrew Whiley and transport operator Doug Hall, who have all been elected in the Central Ward.

Taieri farmer Mike Lord has also been elected on to the Mosgiel-Taieri Ward, alongside incumbent Kate Wilson.

Six of the nine Greater Dunedin candidates running for election have been successful - Mr Cull, Mr Lord, and incumbent councillors Richard Thomson, Wilson, Jinty MacTavish and Chris Staynes.

Of those elected outside the Greater Dunedin group, Mr Vandervis would be joined by John Bezett, in the Central Ward, and Andrew Noone, who was elected unopposed in the Waikouaiti-Coast ward seat, round out the 15 seats around the table.

The preliminary results were released shortly after 5pm and were based on 98 per cent of votes counted, with 1179 final day hand-delivered votes still to be tallied.