ELECTIONS: Garry Webber elected Western Bay of Plenty's new mayor

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Garry Webber has been elected new Western Bay of Plenty mayor
Garry Webber has been elected new Western Bay of Plenty mayor

Garry Webber has been elected Western Bay of Plenty mayor in a tightly contested race.

With 95 per cent of all votes counted he leads on 3592 votes, more than 1000 votes ahead of runner-up Gwenda Merriman.

David Marshall, Peter Mackay and Mike Williams look set to become councillors for the Katikati-Waihi Beach ward although only 125 votes separates fourth placed Ross Goudie from Mr Williams who currently has 1606 votes.

Phil Bowyer is only 169 votes behind Mr Williams.

Don Thwaites, Margaret Murray-Benge, Mark Dean and John Palmer have been elected Kaimai Ward councillors - well ahead of the other candidates.

In the Maketu-Te Puke ward Kevin Marsh, John Scrimgeour, Mike Lally and Grant Dally look set to represent the ward although Karyl Gunn-Thomas is only 97 votes shy of Mr Dally in fourth place.

New mayor Garry Webber spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times just after the results were announced, and outlined what he would do as mayor.

"First and foremost, I'll be thanking all the people who voted for me, who got out there and voted, it's pretty critical democracy continues.

"The big task now is taking Western Bay from good to great, it really starts on Monday morning, and plan from where to from here."

He said he was not confident during the election process he would come out on top.

"There were some really good candidates. I knew I had to put my best foot forward."

Mr Webber said the Western Bay constituents voted for him as they wanted change.

"It's not that there is too much criticism of the past, but we just have to step up another level to really perform on the behalf of the rate payers."

Preliminary results, not including special votes, would be available by midday tomorrow.

Final results would be available by Thursday, October 13.

It was anticipated an inaugural meeting of council would take place in November.

Preliminary Western Bay of Plenty community board results

Katikati Community Board (four seats)
Ben Warren - 1870
Brendan Gibbs - 1713
Jenny Hobbs - 1618
Norm Mayo - 1358

Not elected
Sam Dunlop - 1305
Brian Martin - 701

Waihi Beach Community Board (four seats)
Brian Hepenstall - 703
Ruth Parsons - 686
Allan Sole - 630
Marylin Roberts - 630

Not elected
Derek Mills - 447

Te Puke Community Board (four seats)
Mike Lally* - 1418
Grant Dally* - 1375
Peter Miller - 1175
Bev Button - 1004
Joan Dugmore - 936
*Because Mr Dally and Mr Lally were also elected as Maketu-Te Puke Ward councillors there will need to be a by-election for one position, while the fifth polling candidate (Joan Dugmore) will be declared elected as a member of the Te Puke board.

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