While headlines in Auckland hailed a "Len-slide" for Saturday's local body elections, papers on the Coromandel Peninsula may have well have read "Glenn-slide".

The Thames Coromandel District Council chambers had a very different look at a hastily arranged meeting today, with only one councillor from the last three years making it back to council.

Former Tourism Coromandel chairman Glenn Leach is the district's new mayor, receiving 5885 votes, more than twice the votes of his closest rival, incumbent mayor Philippa Barriball, who got only 2471.

"No one was more surprised than me by the overwhelming support I got," Mr Leach said. "I'm pretty blown away by it to be honest. It's quite humbling.

"I expected it to be much closer."

The 61-year-old was up against stiff competition from Ms Barriball, her deputy Adrian Catran, and Mercury Bay councillor Dal Minogue, but arguably benefitted by not being part of a council which was seen by many to be "dysfunctional", typified when several councillors walked out of a meeting in May.

"I don't want to dwell on the negativity of it," Mr Leach said. "The biggest problem the council had was the infighting and the three of them were involved.

"The time has come for us to look ahead."

Mr Leach hoped to bring about a reduction in the council's overheads, a "change in culture", and wanted to give more power to community boards.

"I don't think the council has been run as a business," he said.

Mr Leach is pleased with the councillors elected to join him, with only the South Eastern Ward's Jan Bartley returning from the last council.

"What we've got is one hell of a council, with a good range of people.

"I don't see it as a deterrent that we don't have years of sitting around council."

Mr Leach said he was "personally distressed" by the proposed development planned for New Chums Beach but said the owner had the legal right to do it.

He also opposes any mining north of Kopu-Hikuai Rd and believes alternatives are needed for aerial 1080 in the fight to reduce possum numbers on the peninsula.

Having lived across the peninsula, Mr Leach is well aware of the region's natural beauty.

"We've got a beautiful region here - as Aucklanders realise."

Adrian Catran - 1493
Murray McLean - Withdrew
Glenn Leach - 5885
Dal Minogue - 1987
Philippa Barriball* - 2471
Graham Taylor - 211

Elected Councillors
Coromandel-Colville Ward Tony Brljevich, 501 Mercury Bay Ward Tony Fox, 1956; Murray McLean, 1461 South Eastern Ward Jan Bartley, 1157; Jack Wells, 1622 Thames Ward Diane Connors, 1555; Peter French, 1763; Wyn Hoadley, 1567