Taupo mayor David Trewavas has been returned to the top job with over a 5500 vote margin at the progress stage.
Mr Trewavas has received 7616 votes with 98 per cent of votes counted. His closest rival was Christine Rankin with 2016 votes. Rosanne Jollands received 1111 votes and Kim Eyles 177.
An elated Mr Trewavas said he felt both honoured and privileged to receive such a strong mandate from his community.
"We have achieved some great things in our district in the three years that I have been mayor but there is still more to do and I am really looking forward to building on our successes," he said.
The majority of existing councillors look set to be returned, with only two new faces likely to join the ranks. Former Turangi-Tongariro Community Board chairman Tangonui Kingi is the highest ranked in the Turangi-Tongariro Ward and Christine Rankin has also won a seat at the council table polling third highest for the Taupō-Kaingaroa Ward.
The highest polling candidate was Rosie Harvey with 4643 votes, followed by John Williamson on 4516. The other successful candidates at progress stage are Anna Park, Rosanne Jollands, Barry Hickling and John Boddy. There is a 58 vote difference between the next closest candidate Bernhard Chrustowski. Kirsty Trueman has been returned as the councillor for the Mangakino-Pouakani ward with a clear margin.
The six highest polling candidates for the Turangi-Tongariro Community Board are Karen Donlon, Wally Van der Aa, Te Takinga New, Sharlyn Holt, Andy Hema and Sally Nelson. The next highest polling is Denis Greenslade, 19 votes behind.
Preliminary results are expected tomorrow and will be declared later in the week.