Paula Southgate looks set to lead Hamilton for the next three years, taking the mayoralty from Andrew King.

It means that for now it is the last we will see of Mr King around the council table, and puts an end to three years of some of the most controversial periods in Hamilton's local government history.

Yet despite that, we should thank Andrew for his work over the past three years. He stuck by his aim of doing what he thought was right for the city , despite it not being the most popular and for that he should be commended.

The 9.7 per cent rates increase hurt, but he began his mayoralty with a Hamilton that was suffering dearly.


There was a worn out Waterworld, a closed CBD library, and traffic congestion starting to pile up.

And under his leadership, along with the help of the 2016-19 council, Hamilton has came out a better city. The library is reopened, Waterworld had some much needed upgrades, while working with Dave Macpherson, and neighbouring councils, brought alternative forms of transportation to the forefront of council.

Lime Scooters, free buses for youth and those with disabilities, the Hamilton to Auckland commuter rail starting next year.

The introduction of the Māngai Māori was also a key part of his reign, along with the creation of a community land trust.

He had a vision, much like others, to open Hamilton to the river and despite failing to listen to public feedback when purchasing properties on Victoria Street, he wanted to see his vision through, and you knew what he was standing for.

The new council represents a diverse Hamilton, a mixture of woman, men, young, old and from different cultures which is what Hamilton needs, but before we look to the future, we should thank Andrew for his leadership over the past three years.