Coverage from today's local body elections in Auckland and across NZ. Click here to see election results from your area.
Kerry Prendergast has held on to the mayoralty in Wellington by a mere 40 votes over nearest rival Celia Wade-Brown.
But there are still 1000 special votes to be counted, which could alter the outcome of the race.
And Lawrence Yule has retained the Hastings mayoralty by a landslide. He polled just over 11,000 votes with Simon Nixon in second on 6,500.
In Central Otago newcomer Tony Lepper has won a three way race with incumbent Dr Malcolm McPherson beaten into third place.
Departing Whanganui mayor Michael Laws has retained a place on the council. Mr Laws did not seek the mayoralty after three terms, but stood for a seat. He will be replaced as mayor by Horizons Regional Councillor Annette Main, who edged out deputy mayor Dot McKinnon by 217 votes.
And the new mayor of Queenstown is Vanessa van Uden. In preliminary results, Ms van Uden was well ahead of nearest contender Simon Hayes in a three way contest. Ms van Uden steps up from being a Queenstown Lakes councillor to become mayor, replacing Clive Geddes who has retired.
John Key says he looks forward to working with Len Brown as the new mayor of Auckland.
He told TV3 they had a good working relationship - "constructive and positive".
Meanwhile, new Orakei representative Cameron Brewer has also congratulated Mr Brown and thanked John Banks for his work.
He acknowledged his rival Doug Armstrong in a statement this afternoon.
"I want to pay tribute to Eastern Bays Councillor Doug Armstrong. Doug was a formidable opponent who has made a huge and positive contribution to Auckland over many years. He did a great job on keeping rates down."
Celebrant Morris Cutforth has ousted Whangarei incumbent Stan Semenoff by more than 2,500 votes. He says to win with such a majority is a great confidence boost.
Barbara Arnott is comfortably leading the Napier mayoral race with 12,331 votes. Michelle Pyke has 4,062. She says this is likely to be her last three-year term as mayor.
South Waikato mayor Neil Sinclair has also won another term - his third - 2700 ahead of his closest rival.
In Kaikoura, Winston Gray has so far edged out Stephan Rattray, 832-302.
In Manawatu, Ian McKelvie is leading Steve Gibson by 5,510 to 2,893.
Meng Foon has retained the Gisborne mayoralty, beating Gary Hope by more than 3000 votes.
In central Hawke's Bay the race was a lot closer. With 98 per cent of votes counted, Peter Butler is ahead on 1,756. Trish Giddens has 1,680
votes and David Tennent 1,131.
Winton Dalley looks to have taken out Hurunui District and Ray Wallace Hutt City.
Alex Familton has been named mayor of Waitaki with 4,545 votes to Gary Kircher's 3,362.
In Waitomo, Brian Hanna was elected mayor.
Former NZ First MP Ron Mark has taken out Carterton with 1,826 votes.
John Booth, Grant Smith and Jill Greathead were elected to Carterton rural ward.
In the urban ward, W J (Bill) Knowles, Ruth Carter, Barbara Durbin, Elaine Brazendale and Alan Eastergaard were elected.
Harry Duynhoven has been elected mayor of New Plymouth, receiving 10,011 votes - 1657 clear of his nearest rival Pauline Lockett.
Defeated Hamilton incumbent mayor Bob Simcock says he is due for a "good holiday" after 16 years representing the city.
"For me, I've held office to represent the city for 16 years, between Parliament and the council, and it's been a great privilege."
The campaign had been a close one for some time, but now the voters had decided "and that's fine", he said.
"We work long hours so there's also a sense of relief - someone else can deal with the challenges for a while."
Aldo Miccio is Nelson City's new mayor, leading closest rival Rachel Reese by 6,077 to 4,722 with 98 percent of the votes counted.
The 12 At Large vacancies look to be filled by Reese (9,259), Jeff Rackley (6,829), Ian Barker (6,520), Gail Collingwood (5,999), Pete Rainey (5,990), Ali Boswijk (5,791), Mike Ward (5,552), Ruth Copeland (5,263), Derek Shaw (4,928), Paul Matheson (4,834), and Kate Fulton (4,815).
The voter return was 46.78 percent, being 15,806 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, the councillors elected to Environment Southland are Ali Timms (3011 votes) and Peter Jones (2835) for the Eastern Dome; Grant Hubber (1332) for Hokonui; and Maurice Rodway (9750), Neville Cook 9(8791), Marion Miller (8396), Jan Riddell (7366), Robert Guyton (7251), and Rowly Currie (6886) for Invercargill/Rakiura.
Almost 300 Citizens & Ratepayers supporters have gathered at the Eden Rugby Football Club to offer each other commiserations after what one attendee called a "walloping" in the polls.
Defeated mayoral candidate John Banks dropped in to make a speech, thanking the right-leaning party's support during the campaign.
Citizens & Ratepayers won just five council seats after predicting 10 or 11 seats yesterday.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, Brendan Duffy appears to have retained the Horowhenua District mayoralty.
Duffy leads his closest rival Anne Hunt by 4,550 to 3,950.
In the Kere Kere Ward, Anne Hunt and David Allan lead with 1,208 and 822; Robbie Shaw is leading in the Miranui Ward with 392 votes; in the Levin Ward, Barry Judd (3,142), Victoria Kaye-Simmons (2,658), Garry Good (2,574), Leigh Griffen-McKeeken (2,528), and Tony Rush (2,291) lead; Nathan Murray (1,325) and Peter Keenan (1,110) lead in the Waiopehu Ward, and in the Foxton Community Board Neville Gimbett (1,260), Ngaire Ellwood (1,065), David Roache (1,061), Basil Vertongen (901) and Trisha Metcalf (740) lead.
The voter return was 48.84 percent, being 10,724 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.
Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters will stay on for a third term.
He secured 9770 votes with Charles Sturt following on 5376.
Meanwhile, Labour MP George Hawkins says he will be resigning from Parliament.
He has just been elected to the Manurewa Community Board.
Mr Hawkins says he has yet to decide when he will step down.
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne looks likely to keep his position for another three years and is around 4000 votes clear of his contenders.
Rick Cooper is set to stay as Taupo's mayor, has been elected for a second term.
Wairoa will keep veteran mayor Les Probert for another term. This will be the fourth term at the helm for the 75 year old. Mr Probert won 1541 votes in the preliminary results - more than twice as many as his nearest rival Denys Caves who won 731.
And, the Western Bay of Plenty Mayor has won by default, incumbent Ross Paterson was unchallenged in the Mayoralty race.
With 98 percent of the vote in, Stuart Crosby has retained the Tauranga City mayoralty.
Crosby leads with 16,586 votes, far ahead of nearest rivals Murray Guy (4,285) and Mark Groos (3,937).
The Mount Maunganui-Papamoa Ward's two council spots could come down to special votes, with David Stewart on 5,649 votes, Wayne Moultrie on 4,980, Steve Morris on 4,815 and Bob Harnor on 4,420.
Otumoetai-Pyes Pa Ward is also close, with Catherine Stewart and Larry Baldock leading with 3,367 and 3,045 votes, ahead of Richard Kluit on 2,872.
In the Te Papa-Welcome Bay Ward, Bill Grainger and Terry Molloy with 3,751 and 2,829 lead Matua Parkinson 2,547 for the ward's two seats.
The four vacancies for At Large will likely go to Tony Christiansen (10,268), Rick Curach (10,035), Bill Faulkner (9,808), and Murray Guy (9,323).
The voter return was 42.08 percent, with 33,816 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.
With 98 percent of the votes counted in the Marlborough District Council elections, Alistair Sowman has been elected mayor.
David Oddie, Trevor Hook, and Graeme Barsanti have been elected councillors for the Marlborough Sounds Ward; Peter Jerram, Francis Maher and Geoff Evans elected for the Wairau-Awatere Ward; and Jamie Arbuckle, Jenny Andrews, David Dew, Jessica Bagge, Terry Sloan, John Leggett, and Graeme Taylor elected wfor the Blenheim Ward.
The voter return for the district was 54.68 percent, with 17,712 voting papers, excluding voting papers in transit to the processing centre and special votes.
Wayne Brown looks to have held on to the Far North District Council mayoralty, but it is tight. Progress results have the incumbent with 5,573 votes, only narrowly ahead of John Goulter who has 5,032.
In Te Hiku Ward, Colin Kitchen, Monty Knight, and Mate Radich lead with 3,660, 2,409, and 1,925 respectably.
In the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward, Ann Court, Di Maxwell, Tom Baker, and Steve McNally are leading with 4,715, 2,815, 2,612, and 2,376.
In the Kaihohe-Hokianga Ward Tracy Dalton and Sally MacAuley lead with 1,875 and 1,335.
David Ayers has won the Waimakariri District Council mayoralty off incumbent Ron Keating. With 98 percent of the returned ballots counted, progress results have Ayers with 7,415 votes and Keating with 4,272.
In the Oxford-Ayer Ward, Kevin Felstead and Dan Gordon are leading with 1,520 and 1,461 votes.
In the Woodend-Ashley Ward, Peter Farrant and Kirstyn Barnett are leading with 1,647 and 1,479 votes.
In the Rangiora Ward, Ayers, Jim Gerard and Robbie Brine lead with 3,454, 2,532 and 2,333 repsectably.
In the Kaiapoi Ward, Roger Blair, Neville Atkinson and John Meyer lead with 2,688, 2,212 and 1,777 votes each respectably.
It looks like the Tararua District has a new mayor. Roly Ellis has received the a large majority of the 98 per cent of votes so far counted. The agricultural operator will take over from former mayor Maureen Reynolds who has stepped down after 12 years.
Julie Hardaker appears to have wrestled the Hamilton City Council mayoralty off incumbent Bob Simcock, but it will be close.
Hardaker has 12,520 votes to Simcock's 11,723 with 95 percent of the vote cast. Roger Hennebry is in third with 4,967, and Lisa Lewis fourth with 915.
In the East Ward, Gordon Chesterman (8,368), Pippa Mahood (6,994), Peter Bos (6,682), Roger Hennebry (6,612), Daphne Bell (6019) and Margaret Forsyth (5835), look to have filled the six council positions, and in the West Ward Martin Gallagher (9,364), John Gower (7,049), Ewan Wilson (6,950), Angela O'Leary (5660), Dave Macpherson (4,817) and Ronny Phillips (4592) make up the current top six candidates.
The 20 people elected to the Auckland Council have been confirmed. They are Michael Goudie, Wayne Walker, George Wood, Ann Hartley, Penny Hulse, Sandra Coney, Mike Lee, Noelene Raffills, Cathy Casey, Christine Fletcher, Cameron Brewer, Richard Northey, Jami-Lee Ross, Sharon Stewart, Penny Webster, Calum Penrose, John Walker, Des Morrison, Arthur Anae, Alf Filipaina.
Tim Shadbolt today won a sixth term as Invercargill Mayor. He polled 16,275 votes compared with 5311 for Suzanne Prentice.
Progress results are in for the Horizon Regional Council elections with 98 percent of voting papers returned.
For the Horowhenua-Kairanga constituency, Lindsay Burnell and Colleen Sheldon are leading with 5,922 and 4,023 votes respectably.
For Manawatu-Rangitikei Gordon McKellar and Edward Gordon leading with 4,682 and 4,526 votes respectably.
In the Palmerston North constituency, where four councillors will be elected, Jacqueling White (13,383), Paul Rieger (12,666), Murray Guy (10,756), and Verdon Chettleburgh (9698) are leading.
In Ruapehu Michael Plowman is narrowly leading sole-rival Weston Kirton 1,598 to 1,423 respectably.
No results have been received as yet for Tararua and Whanganui.
Progress results just in from the Auckland Council elections:
Penny Webster is winning the
with 8063 votes, ahead of Christine Rose with 5553.
Michael Goudie and Wayne Walker are leading, with 8538 and 8007 votes respectably.
George Wood is leading the
North Shore Ward
race with 14,116, and Ann Hartley also looking to claim a seat in council with 12,767.
, Penny Hulse and Sandra Coney look likely to be elected, with 16,875 and 12,567 respectably.
Mike Lee is leading the
Waitemata and Gulf Ward
convincingly with 10,523 votes, more than 5,000 ahead of his closest rival.
Noeleen Raffills is leading in the
with 7,158 votes and Cameron Brewer looks to have taken the
with 17,021 votes.
Chris Fletcher and Cathy Casey are leading in the A
lbert-Eden-Roskill Ward race
, with 19,492 and 14,081 respectably.
Richard Northey is ahead in the
race with 8,614 votes, while in
Sharon Stewart with 22,537 and Jami-Lee Ross with 18,382 are leading, but only narrowly with Dick Quax on 18,045.
John Banks says he congratulates mayor-elect Len Brown unconditionally as he conceded defeat today.
Banks made a 10-minute speech to media at the Auckland Town Hall this afternoon, flanked by his wife and three children.
He smiled and put on a brave face as he read out a statement that included much praise for his rival.
He had called Brown immediately to offer his congratulations, Banks said.
In his first unofficial duty as mayor of the biggest council in Australasia, Len Brown will attend the opening of the new South Stand at Eden Park tomorrow with Prime Minister John Key.
After today's hand-delivered votes are collected from public libraries and council offices and counted, a preliminary result will be released later this evening. The official result will be publicly declared on October 18.
Mr Brown and elected representatives are due to be sworn in on November 1.
Provisional results have Maureen Pugh winning the Westland District Council mayoralty over sole rival Peter Davidson. Pugh has 2,076 votes cast in her favour to Davidson's 1,283.
Incumbent Bob Parker has been re-elected as Christchurch mayor.
John Banks has reportedly phoned Len Brown to concede defeat, according to TVNZ.
There is an air of tentative optimism in the Len Brown camp as his red-clad supporters begin to filter into Cornwall Park - none of them had yet heard the election result.
After spending a morning at the Otara markets, the Manukau mayor has arrived at Sorrento's in the Park, where he launched his campaign 14 months ago.
"I'm exactly where I want to be," he said. "I would say cautiously optimistic is a good description of how I feel."
Mr Brown had one jittery hand on his mobile phone, waiting for the call from the electoral officer which would determine whether he has secured the mayoralty.
"[The electoral officer] will call me, and say either 'You're all good buddy' or 'Sorry mate'."
Mr Brown said the rest of his day would depend on the result. "If it's a yes, we will be having some serious fun."
Mr Brown is surrounded by his family, several Labour MPs and around 200 supporters.
With almost 95 per cent of the votes counted, Len Brown has won the Auckland mayoralty.
Mr Brown has approximately 221,000 votes to Mr Banks' 161,000.
John Banks has arrived at the Auckland Town Hall to wait for election results to come in, saying he "expects a good outcome".
Banks walked in with his wife, two sons and his daughter, who have joined a private gathering with family and staff in the first floor that is closed off to the public.
He is expected to hold a press conference about 2.15pm after he finds out whether he has won or lost the mayoralty.
"I feel very good after an 18-month campaign (that was) very, very tough (and) hard-fought," Banks said as he walked in, smiling.
"I expect a good outcome. I always expect good outcomes."
The town hall is virtually empty and quiet expect for music from next-door Aotea Square filtering through.
Voters have continued to turn up at the Christchurch's City Council Civic building with their voting papers after voting closed at midday. The doors were closed at midday on the dot.
But people shut out slipped their voting papers under the council building door. A Christchurch Star roaming reporter at the scene said: "They kept trying all the doors to get in. They looked confused and disappointed. They were just desperate to get their votes in".
A city council spokeswoman said late votes would not be counted.
Christchurch people have been rushing to get their votes in only minutes away from midday - closing time in the local body election.
The Christchurch Civic building has been flooded with people bringing in their votes - many running in through the door.
Neroli Mortimer of Halswell was voting today because she had been on holiday. She had voted for the incumbent mayor Bob Parker and said his performance after the earthquake had influenced her.
"He looks like he has matured and shedded the TV star image," she said.
Inner city man Hugo Zanker, 27, voted for Mr Parker's main rival Jim Anderton. He said he always tried to vote, but this year was more important becuase he wanted to see the inner city revitalised, especially after the earthquake.
"Jim Anderton was talking about cheap housing in the central city," he said.
Newstalk ZB reports Len Brown spent part of this morning at the Otara markets, while John Banks spent his morning in Newmarket, Parnell and Remuera, both candidates encouraging last minute voters.
For those interested in the Super City mayoralty election, we are expecting a provisional result around 2pm.
Len Brown has already got his winning celebration sorted out with a post election party at One Tree Hill's Sorrento in the Park.
John Banks will retire to his base at the Auckland Town Hall.
Newstalk ZB reports that a local board candidate for Otara Papatoetoe, who was last week arrested and charged with forgery surrounding the Super City elections, will congregate with friends today as the election results come in.
There have been calls from other candidates in the electorate for accused Daljit Singh to stand down.
Mr Singh says he accepts freedom of speech but wants to defend himself and no-one's guilty unless proven so. Rivals have said they'll be asking for a judicial inquiry which Mr Singh says is in their rights.
For those looking to vote in the Super City election, there's still time to cast your vote.
Ballot boxes will remain open in all public libraries until noon today.
Voters can also hand-deliver their documents to:
* The Electoral Office, Level 8, 92 Albert Street, Auckland.
* Papakura District Council's office at 35 Coles Crescent, Papakura.
* Manukau City Council's offices, 31-33 Wiri Station Road, Manukau.
* Mangere East Library
Wellington Mayor, Kerry Prendegast, says if she's re-elected today it'll be her last term.
Polls suggest she'll get it, and she's quietly confident they're right. She has about 33 per cent support, according to a Dominion Post poll this week while her two main opponents have around 25 per cent each.
She told Newstalk ZB there's little rest for a mayor, even on election day, "I still have one duty to perform, I'll be opening a conference, and apart from that spending time with my family."
Welcome to nzherald's coverage of NZ's local body elections, happening across the country today.
Along with today's Super City mayoralty race between Len Brown and John Banks, the most notable contest might be in Christchurch where incumbent Bob Parker has overturned a massive deficit to take a slim pre-election poll lead into today's vote against long-time MP and opposition candidate Jim Anderton.
In Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt is trying to fend off singer Suzanne Prentice.
We'll also bring you news and results from other towns and cities across NZ.