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UPDATE - West Coast voters ousted all three of the region's sitting mayors but two of the South Island's best known civic leaders, Christchurch's Garry Moore and Invercargill's Tim Shadbolt, scored landslide victories in their mayoralty races.

One of New Zealand's longest-serving mayors, Buller's Pat O'Dea, Westland's John Drylie and Grey District's Kevin Brown have all been rolled -- in what the Coast's first woman mayor, Maureen Pugh, dubbed an end to the "old boys' network".

In the Deep South former student activist and concrete contractor Tim Shadbolt cemented his position as Invercargill Mayor for a fourth term with a big win over late challenger Alan Swallow.

Mr Shadbolt gained 16,690 votes, compared with Mr Swallow's 2884, according to today's preliminary count in the local body elections.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore increased his majority from 17,000 three years ago to more than 49,000 when being returned.

Provisionally, Mr Moore won 60,817 votes. The nearest of his nine challengers was Aaron Keown with 11,423, while National Front organiser Kyle Chapman ranked fifth on 1654 votes.

Mr O'Dea, 66, will hand over the district council's mayoral chains to Westport lawyer Martin Sawyers after 21 years in the job.

Mr Sawyers, 37, who had slashed back Mr O'Dea's majority to 335 votes in the last election three years ago, won 2582 votes for an overwhelming majority of 1072.

At Westland District Council, Mr Drylie lost to councillor Maureen Pugh by 2335 votes to 595 after he was heavily criticised for his handling of a Hokitika plastics factory project.

"The old boys' network has been in decline for a few years and I think the Coasters have had enough of that. They're ready for some new life and personality," Ms Pugh said.

Grey District Mayor Kevin Brown was also soundly defeated, with car dealer Tony Kokshoorn gaining 4769 votes to Mr Brown's 1681.

But to the north in Tasman district, Mayor John Hurley held on to his job with 7653 votes. Nearest challenger Richard Johns gained 5184.

Waitaki Mayor Alan McLay was re-elected with 5307 votes -- well ahead of Project Aqua opponent Bruce Parker with 3635.

Waimate's provisional results spelled the end of David Owen's long reign as mayor. His deputy, John Coles, who filled in as mayor when Mr Owen suffered a heart attack last year, won 2131 votes to the incumbent's 1431.

Mr Owen and Mr O'Dea shared the distinction with Manukau's Sir Barry Curtis of being New Zealand's longest serving incumbent mayors.

- NZPA




Herald Feature: Local Vote 2004

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