Dr Jason Smith fought back emotion on more than one occasion as he was officially sworn in as mayor of Kaipara.
The 46-year-old made his statutory declaration and maiden speech in front of about 70 councillors, council staff and family members at the Northern Wairoa War Memorial Hall in Dargaville yesterday.
Deputy Mayor Peter Wethey, who also contested the mayoralty, declared the final byelection result.
At the beginning of Mr Smith's speech, the mention of his great-great-grandparents, who arrived in Kaipara 156 years ago, had him close to tears.
Mr Smith was "very proud, humbled and honoured" to have the role of mayor.
He said a high voter turnout in the byelection - 42.5 per cent - was a wonderful thing for civic pride in Kaipara district.
Mr Smith was looking forward to working with everyone "with my ear to the ground and my shoulder to the wheel".
His work started immediately, as he headed from the swearing-in straight to Whangarei to meet with the region's other mayors as part of the mayoral forum.
Next week, the consultation document for Kaipara's Long Term Plan will be finalised.
"We're moving fast - but I'm very honoured and humbled to be here today and looking forward greatly to serving the people of the Kaipara District."
That sentence had the beef and sheep farmer choking up again.
After the official ceremony had wrapped up, Mr Smith told the Northern Advocate it was very special.
"I feel the weight of the generations before me," he said of the emotion he showed.
His parents, Clive and Colleen Smith, were among those in the crowd.
"We're incredibly proud. We know Jason's heart is very genuine. He's always been 100 per cent in everything he does," his mother said.
His father said his son is very passionate about the Kaipara district.
His mother said she too may have shed a tear.
"It's a good team he'll be working with."
The byelection was held after former mayor Greg Gent resigned last year.