Christchurch's mayor has come out triumphant after her hardest-fought election but will have a new-look council to contend with.

Lianne Dalziel received almost 45,000 votes against her closest rival Darryl Park on just over 28,000 votes, while activist John Minto received less than 9000 votes.

It's a convincing win but pales in comparison to the landslide victories of 2013 and 2016.
Dalziel was attending a funeral as the votes were being counted today.

Dressed in a grey suit and hand-in-hand with husband Rob Davidson on the Bridge of Remembrance, she said the win was an endorsement of her leadership.


"I'm feeling very humbled and grateful."

"People coming up to me in supermarkets and the new Riverside Markets, and all around the place, I had a very strong feeling that there was the support there for me."

Dalziel said her priority would be building the team, alongside Council's new CEO Dawn Baxendale.

"I'm feeling very confident when I look at the mix that we've got we're going to really get our heads down and work really quickly."

Six new councillors will join Dalziel around the table. Notably absent will be Central ward councillor Deon Swiggs, who was the subject of a council inquiry over allegations he sent text messages to young people.

Dalziel would only say his loss of more than a thousand votes to new candidate Jake McLellan was "inevitable".

"He's obviously had some challenging issues in his life, but that's the reality that he has faced."

In a statement, Swiggs congratulated McLellan saying it was always going to be a very tough election given the code of conduct investigation against him.


"I look forward to hearing from the council as to what this result means for the code of conduct investigation and I will continue to work with my senior legal counsel on the flawed process we have experienced to date."

Another upset in the city came for Coastal ward councillor David East, who had faced the threat of disciplinary action for accusing council staff of tampering with the city's district plan. He was pipped by former radio personality James Daniels by 317 votes.

Accountant Sam MacDonald was elected as the new councillor for the Waimairi ward.
In the Spreydon ward, research scientist Melanie Coker was elected to replace retiring Councillor Phil Clearwater.

The Riccarton Council seat, left vacant by the retirement of Vicki Buck, was won by financial advisor Catherine Chu.

Phil Mauger also out-polled sitting councillor Glenn Livingstone in the Burwood ward.

But perhaps today's biggest upset came for local businessman Darryl Park, whose campaign with promises of zero rates rises and an end to council bureaucracy could not get him over the line.

After rallying media to New Brighton restaurant Salt on the Pier he delivered the disappointing verdict flanked by his daughter Jessie and wife Susie.

"Christchurch has chosen to retain the current mayor and I accept that begrudgingly because I know what I can offer."

While he's yet to decide what the future will bring, his last words hinted at a further challenge.

I won't be moving away. I'll be staying true to those who have supported me in keeping this council honest because I've set some standards.