Key points:
• In Auckland, Phil Goff has beaten his main challenger John Tamihere, to be voted mayor for a second term.
• Lianne Dalziel has retained the mayoralty in Christchurch.
• In Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt returns for his eighth term and is the longest-serving mayor.
Hutt City's Cambell Barry becomes the country's youngest mayor at 28 years old.
• Businessman Tenby Powell is the new mayor of Tauranga.

Voting has now closed in the local government elections and the results are starting to roll in.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has won a second term as Mayor of Auckland, beating his main rival and former parliamentary colleague John Tamihere.

Businessman Tenby Powell has won the race for mayor of Tauranga. Progress results show Powell, 59, with a lead over incumbent mayor Greg Brownless.

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Powell, husband of entrepreneur Sharon Hunter and father of two young adult children, moved back to his childhood hometown of Tauranga in May to run for election.

He has run a high profile campaign that has courted both fervent support and Powell has said that if elected he would resign his positions of chairman of the Government's Small Business Development Group and the New Zealand Small Business Council.

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In other parts of the Bay of Plenty, David Trewavas has been re-elected in Taupō, Steve Chadwick in Rotorua, Whakatāne's new mayor is Judy Turner, and Garry Webber has been re-elected in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Paula Southgate has won the mayoralty in Hamilton. She missed out to Andrew King in the 2016 elections by six votes.

In Waipa, incumbent mayor Jim Mylchreest was elected unopposed while in the Waikato District, mayor Allan Sanson secured more than 9000 votes to take the mayoralty again.

Incumbent 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. Sheryl Mai has been re-elected as the Mayor of Whangarei, winning her third term in office.

Napier's new mayor for the next three years will be Kirsten Wise and Sandra Hazlehurst has returned as Hastings mayor, while Campbell Barry has taken the top job from incumbent Ray Wallace in Hutt City, meaning he could be the country's youngest ever mayor at 28 years old.

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Long-standing Invercargill City Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt will return for another term, making it his 11th term as mayor.

He served two terms as Waitemata's mayor - from 1983 to 1989 - before starting his career as mayor of Invercargill in 1993.

He was not re-elected after his first term, but won the mayoralty back in 1998 and has retained it since.

And progress results show Lianne Dalziel has won Christchurch's mayoralty race and will serve a third term as Mayor.

Incumbent mayor of Stratford District Council mayor Neil Volzke will continue to wear the mayoral chains for another term.

Viv Napier looks to be on her way out as mayor of South Wairarapa District Council and incumbent Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson looks set for another term in the top spot.

Horowhenua District Council also has a new mayor - Bernie Wanden has rolled Michael Feyen.

Meanwhile six mayoral candidates have avoided the stress of election day and have been elected unopposed.

Each of the successful candidates are incumbent mayors.

Down in the lower South Island, Gore District mayor Tracy Hicks and Clutha District mayor Bryan Cadogan will return to the top seat.

Andy Watson for the Rangitikei District, Jenny Shattock for the South Waikato District, Jim Mylchreest for the Waipa District, and Hamish McDouall for the Whanganui district will also remain as mayors.

Mayoral candidates have been worried about low engagement and voter turnout in this year's elections.

The Chatham Islands has been leading the way with the highest turnout.

Of 411 eligible voters, 260 had voted by yesterday afternoon, which is 63.3 percent.

However this marks a decrease on 2016, when 75 percent of eligible voters cast votes.

Five people are running for mayor and ten people are running for eight vacancies on the council at large.

Yesterday Auckland Council offered several voting options to try and meet its target of 40 percent turnout.

But despite fears for low voter engagement mayoral candidates have been giving it their all in fiery debates, trying to convince the public of why they should help make the big decisions for the next three years.

In Auckland, Mayor Phil Goff and challenger John Tamihere have traded blows in a number of live debates.

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has also faced competition from his two main rivals - veteran councillor Andy Foster, and Diane Calvert.

In another live debate, RNZ asked Christchurch mayoral candidates Lianne Dalziel, John Minto and Darryll Park some tough questions.

And in Invercargill the mayoralty has been described as a genuine three-horse race in which Tim Shadbolt might well be toppled.

- RNZ, NZ Herald staff