Dunedin has turned a brighter shade of green with the election of Green Party councillor Aaron Hawkins as the city's next mayor.

Cr Hawkins - a two-term councillor and Green Party candidate - has this afternoon won Dunedin's mayoralty, based on progress results, replacing outgoing three-term mayor Dave Cull.

He has seen off a strong challenge from rival and four-term councillor Lee Vandervis and 12 other candidates, including fellow incumbent councillors Jim O'Malley, Christine Garey and Andrew Whiley.

The result also makes Cr Hawkins one of New Zealand's youngest mayors, at just 35 years of age.


Cr Hawkins stood on a platform of continued progressive development in Dunedin, saying he wanted to focus on initiatives to improve housing, public transport and the natural environment.

The result also meant the city council would have a mayor committed to continuing progress on major initiatives, like waterfront development plans, cycleways and George St's redevelopment.

Cr Hawkins tweeted his reaction, thanking his supporters and saying it was "humbling to be given the privilege of leading our next council".

"It's an exciting and challenging time for the city. Can't wait to get stuck in."

Cr Vandervis told the Otago Daily Times he knew the race was always going to be close, but his loss to Green Party candidate Aaron Hawkins was "quite disappointing''.

He was not surprised by the result, but was surprised by "the level of personal untruths that have been levelled throughout''.

He blamed the media for "a lack of debate around really important issues'', such as council debt and the new Dunedin Hospital site.

Full results are yet to be released, but Scout Barbour-Evans tweeted they were not elected on to council.