Wellington's new mayor is on a mission for "quick wins" with a clear mood for change in the country's capital city.

Andy Foster has secured the city's top job by a margin of 503 votes, according to preliminary results released on Sunday after a nail-biting wait.

The $6.4b Let's Get Wellington Moving plan will be a priority for Foster after campaigning on getting a new deal with the Government to bring forward construction of a second Mt Victoria tunnel.

This despite Transport Minister Phil Twyford having already drawn a clear line in the sand that he expects mass rapid transit to be delivered ahead of roading projects.


Nevertheless, Foster plans to garner support from mayors around the region and other key players like the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.

"The Government would have to be pretty staunch not to be listening", he said.

Outgoing mayor Justin Lester doubted there would be an appetite to relitigate the transport plan.

"I hope that it doesn't turn into a talkfest, I hope that we see some progress soon, and I hope that council can focus on the future", he said.

Justin Lester says being Wellington's mayor was the best job he has ever had. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
Justin Lester says being Wellington's mayor was the best job he has ever had. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

On the campaign trail Foster released a first-150-day plan for the council, with 33 items on the agenda.

They included restoring free Sunday parking, agreeing on a way forward for Shelly Bay, establishing an urban development agency, agreeing on a solution for the closed central library and a timeframe for its reopening, and work to set a lower rates trajectory than currently proposed.

More imminently, councillors are in for a portfolio shakeup.

Foster is putting the City Scientist and City Ambassador roles on the chopping block.


"I want to make sure that we have probably fewer portfolios and that they are much more clearly designed and make a little more sense."

He is keeping tight-lipped about who his deputy would be, only revealing that he had "some people" in mind rather than a clear frontrunner.

Foster also wants to move quickly in setting up a business sounding board, similar to Kerry Prendergast's era.

"That has fallen by the wayside in the last nine years or so I'm keen to put that back together again because I think it's really important for me as mayor that I'm hearing from businesses as to their aspirations and concerns", he said.

Lester congratulated Foster on his campaign and wished him the best.

He was disappointed he did not secure a second term.

"At the same time it's not an easy job, it does cost your family precious time together so I'm sure I'll have a more enjoyable private life now and I'll have a bit more time for my family and for doing other things.


"But it was a real privilege for me to serve as mayor for three years, I've absolutely loved it, it's the best job I've ever had."

As for Lester's political future, he has ruled out a bid in next year's general election.

"At this point in time it hasn't even crossed my mind, so there's absolutely no chance I'd be running in the 2020 election."