Although disappointed not to win the Tararua District mayoralty, Dannevirke's Allan Benbow believes Tracey Collis will be a good mayor for the next three years and potentially beyond.
"Naturally, I was disappointed about the mayoralty which was obviously what I was seeking, but I think people have voted wisely which is democracy working the way it should. Tracey achieved a good, solid majority giving her a strong mandate to lead the council and our district," Mr Benbow said after he was sworn in as a North Ward councillor on Wednesday afternoon.
"I was humbled by the number of votes I received and in particular, by being the highest polling councillor in the North Ward and I appreciate that support."
Mrs Collis announced Mr Benbow was to be her deputy, a role he's very pleased with.
"I will give all the support I can, not just to the mayor, but also to council and the council organisation," he said.
"I'm looking forward to being part of a unified, effective council, contributing towards making Tararua a great place to live and visit."
Mr Benbow said he'll always be interested in economic development and financial management and thought the positive response from Audit New Zealand's audit team to the council on its annual plan was good.
One thing he wants to achieve, along with Mrs Collis, is district unity.
"It's absolutely important and having a mayor from the South Ward is positive," Mr Benbow said.
"I support her concept of getting our district unified and to have a unified council."
Getting the major wastewater and water infrastructure projects ticked off and put to bed is one of Mr Benbow's priorities.
"Personally, I would also like to see a review of council's housing policy and its previous decision to sell pensioner housing," he said.
"I'd like to understand better the financial performance of the housing situation as I understand there is a fairly significant housing reserve account."