With more than 4000 votes ahead of her rival, Alex Walker was re-elected as Central Hawke's Bay's mayor.

Walker returned a 4276 vote margin at the progress stage of this year's
elections, released on Saturday.

The result is based upon the counting of about 95 per cent of the returned votes, which sees Walker having returned 4583 votes in total.

Her challenger, and new candidate for the district, Darcie Meremere Tū Ahiahi Scowen came in with 307 votes.
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Walker's re-election makes her the third female mayor in Hawke's Bay this election after Napier was won by Kirsten Wise and Hastings re-elected Sandra Hazlehurst.

The voter return was 51.69 per cent, being 5123 votes, excluding votes in transit to the processing centre and special votes.

An elated Walker said she felt both honoured and privileged to receive such a strong mandate from her community.

"It's been an absolute privilege to serve my community over the last term and I cannot wait to continue my work as mayor for this beautiful district in the next triennium.

"We have achieved so much together so far, but we have much more to do. Delivering a proud, prosperous and thriving district for our communities and our future is absolutely at the heart of everything I do and I'm honoured to have the opportunity to continue," Walker said.

The mayor added that it is "incredibly exciting" to have the new team elected.
"... I am looking forward to the next three years of hard work for Central Hawke's Bay."

Central Hawke's Bay is represented by nine elected members which include a mayor, and eight councillors representing two wards, the Ruataniwha Ward and the Aramoana/Ruahine Ward, each with four seats.

In August, four councillors took uncontested positions to represent CHB's Ruataniwha Ward, leaving just the four Aramoana/Ruahine Ward seats and mayoralty up for grabs.


Ruataniwha Ward councillors Tim Chote, Kelly Annand and Gerard Minehan, all current sitting councillors, retained their positions uncontested. They are joined by a new face; Exham Wichman, born and bred in Otane and now living in Waipukurau.

Six candidates competed for the four available seats in the Aramoana/Ruahine Ward; Darcie Meremere Tū Ahiahi Scowen, Kate Taylor, Tim Aitken, Jerry Greer, Hirani Maaka and Brent Muggeridge.

The highest polling candidate was Kate Taylor with 1976 votes, followed by Tim Aitken with 1719 votes, Jerry Greer with 1701 votes, and Brent Muggeridge with 1578.

If confirmed on Thursday this will bring three new faces to the council table for the next triennium.

CHBDC chief executive, Monique Davidson said: "I want to send a huge thank you to every single one of our candidates who stood to represent their communities in this year's elections.

"It takes courage, commitment and conviction to put yourself out there and take to the polls.

She congratulated returning mayor Walker and the other successful candidates.

"I look forward to working closely with all of you over the next triennium to deliver a proud and prosperous district for our communities."

Final declarations will come through to confirm placements on Thursday, October 17, once special votes have been counted.