It's back to the future for Northland local body politics with all three incumbent mayors voted back into office in Saturday's election.
After the provisional results from the local body elections were released on Saturday - from 95 per cent of votes cast - all three sitting mayors were re-elected.
And while Northland Regional Council chairman from last term Bill Shepherd was re-elected on the provisional results, he will have a nervous wait to see if he will keep the seat once special votes are counted.
Shepherd leads third place getter in the Coastal North constituency, and another incumbent, Joce Yeoman by just 61 votes. First place in the constituency went to newcomer and GE Free Northland spokesman Marty Robinson with 5589 votes.
Sheryl Mai swept back into office in the Whangārei mayoralty race, with 12,612 votes, well ahead of Tony Savage, who came second with 8997 votes in his first tilt at the council. Alex Wright was third in the race with 2626 votes. The final results are expected on Wednesday.
Mai's 3615 majority was well down on last election when she romped in with 14,355 votes to Go-Whangārei leader David Blackley's 5095.
John Carter has been returned for a third term as Far North mayor after a record 11-way contest for the district's top job.
The former Northland MP was well ahead of his rivals with 5018 votes over second place getter Tania McInnes, with 3223 votes, and third was outspoken transparency campaigner Dave ''Bear'' Hookway with 2931 votes.
And Dr Jason Smith got back into the Kaipara's top job with a provisional majority of around 95 per cent of the vote, against rival Moemoea Mohoawhenua, a Māori activist, writer and film-maker formerly named Benjamin Nathan.
■ Full Northland election results - pages 2-3