Sandra Goudie is "ecstatic" to have narrowly clinched the mayoralty of Thames-Coromandel.
The three-term former MP for National was at her mother's home today when the progress results came in, indicating she'd edged out contender Peter French with 5584 votes to the former deputy mayor's 5103.
She acknowledged the race was a "close-run thing" but added the campaign had been "really good fun".
Goudie, a sitting councillor who takes the reins from Glenn Leach, said she'd missed plenty of calls on her cellphone while shifting some beds around and had since spoken with council chief executive Rob Williams about the result.
Goudie expected there would be a "big difference" between serving as Coromandel's MP, as she did between 2002 and 2011, and its mayor.
"But the experience I've had so far has been fantastic... I've found council a doddle and I think the mayoralty will be good as long as we can pull people together in the right direction."
She said her priorities would be "building on where currently are" and making improvements highlighted by a KPMG report, and "just bringing the district together".
Joining Goudie on the council are Tony Fox, Murray McLean, Terry Walker, Jan Bartley, Sally Christie, Strat Peters and Rex Simpson.