4.50pm:

Karen Hunt said she was philosophical after her loss and did not expect to get back on council after special votes were counted.

She said she was very proud of her time on council and the work she had put in.

"I always stood up for what I believed in with the Te Arawa partnership and the inner city revitalisation.

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Karen Hunt.
Karen Hunt.

"I'm sure that something else will pop up for me soon and I have a whole summer to think about what I'll do in the future.

"But, I'm in good spirits and I know I've done a good job - that's democracy for you," she said.

4.25pm:

Tania Tapsell, the council's highest polling candidate, said she was humbled and grateful for all the support she received.

"I was a bit surprised, but I guess I'm grateful for everyone's support, especially those who voted for the first time.

"I'm sad that we have lost them [Karen Hunt and Janet Wepa] because they have done a great job and worked very hard, but the people of Rotorua have spoken and that's democracy.

"I'm looking forward to working with the new council and moving the city forward. But I do think we need more understanding [on council] and we all have to be committed to action," she said.

Earlier:

Newcomer Raj Kumar is in - while incumbents Karen Hunt and Janet Wepa look to be out.

Mr Kumar is the only new face among the 10 councillors elected to the Rotorua Lakes Council.

Mr Kumar, part of the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Group, said he was going to take his job very seriously and wished to thank the people of Springfield for getting in behind him.

He said he was taking a break from mowing his lawns this afternoon when his phone rang.

It was council chief executive Geoff Williams, informing him his bid had been successful.

"At that very moment I had an adrenalin rush. I almost felt like crying because I thought about all the support I have received from my wife, family, all my cuzzie bros and the people of Springfield."

Tania Tapsell was the highest polling councillor, followed by Peter Bentley, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait and Trevor Maxwell.

Mr Maxwell said he was "absolutely chuffed" to be on the council again.

"Even though this is my 14th election I never take anything for granted."

Mr Bentley said he was very pleased with his 7509 votes.

"The campaign run by the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers was a good one," he said.

Returning councillor Charles Sturt said he was very pleased to be back in.

Official progress results:

This result is based upon the counting of about 98 per cent of the returned votes. The progress result does not include some special votes and votes returned today that are still in transit to the processing centre. The outcome of these elections may change once all votes have been counted.

Mayoralty:
CHADWICK, Stephanie (Steve) 7880
MACPHERSON, Reynold Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers 5652
KENT, Rob Independent 3006
GOULD, Mark 1618
KINGI, RangiMarie Independent - Tohunga - Maori Researcher 384
RAKEI-CLARK, John Independent 228
LOUIS, Frances Te Ropu Awangawanga - CONCERN 117
INFORMAL 60
BLANK VOTING PAPERS 426

Council - At Large (10 vacancies)
TAPSELL, Tania Independent 8479
BENTLEY, Peter A Practical Man 7509
RAUKAWA-TAIT, Merepeka 6843
MAXWELL, Trevor 6417
DONALDSON, Dave 6225
GOULD, Mark 6199
KUMAR, Raj Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers 6028
KENT, Rob Independent 5925
STURT, Charles William Independent 5709
MCVICKER, Mike Independent 5301
HUNT, Karen Independent 5246
CALNAN, Julie 5230
BURNS, Stuart Elect for Professional Governance 5004
WEPA, Janet Independent 4620
FISCHER, Shelly Riach Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers 4550
MACKENZIE, Rosemary Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers 4549
DYER, John Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers 4542
BIDDLE, Kingi 4348
KIEL, Eraia 4130
PRITCHARD, Leonie A Common Sense Solution For Rotorua 3851
JOYCE, Annette Mary Independent 3576
WU, Waitsu 3516
MARRINER, Haydn Independent 3500
WINDELL, Charlie 3481
WEBBER, Warren Vote Webber Vote Better 3185
DANIELS, Rawiri Independent 2989
WARU, David 2799
BENFELL, Natasha Independent 2603
SKIPWITH, Kiri Lorraine Independent 2579
STOREY, Victor Independent 2473
GIELEN, Joseph Independent 2246
STAITE, Michael Independent 1823
HEDGES, Bill Independent 1816
SANTIAGO, Carolyn CommunityWorks 1796
HOWARD, Bobby Mihi Independent 1354
INFORMAL 106
BLANK VOTING PAPERS 158

Rotorua Lakes Community Board (4 vacancies)
STANTON, Jim 644
CHATER, Nick 568
THOMASS, Phill Vote Rotorua Lakes Community 497
STEVENS, Fred 461
DOUGLAS, Jerry 425
GRAY, Ryan 406
CALLAGHAN, Neil 384
INFORMAL 2
BLANK VOTING PAPERS 186

The voter return was 42.14%, being 19,475 votes, excluding votes in transit to the processing centre and special votes.