It's what's called a landslide victory, Rotorua councillor Tania Tapsell received more votes than any other candidate in Rotorua's local body elections.

With almost 10,000 votes cast in her favour, she attracted more support than even the re-elected mayor Steve Chadwick. So, what's the secret?

"It was quite an amazing feat to come in not only as the highest-polling candidate for the second time in a row, but also to have more votes than the mayor. It's been incredibly humbling but actually there is no secret," Tapsell said.

"We've worked very hard for the last six years and I think what people need to understand is electioneering is not just about getting out for the two months before the election.


"It's about how have you proven yourself in the community over you time here? How have you served the community? And what promises are you able to actually deliver on?"

The 26-year-old Tapsell believes the face of politics is changing, something that's reflected in the Rotorua Lakes Council.

"If you look at the make-up of that council in terms of ethnicity, gender balance and also age diversity, it really shows that the community is wanting something different. They're wanting to make sure that their politicians represent the community around them."

With voter turnout just 45 per cent for the region, Tapsell says central Government needs to intervene and change the way we vote.

"I think that Government could be doing a lot better in supporting the way that we vote because having postal voting in an age like now is just totally irrelevant. We need to have postal voting but we especially need to have online voting as well.

"I'd really like to have a polling day where people can actually go to the booth, like the general election, and place a vote as well," Tapsell said.

Less than a week on from her win, Tapsell's already back to business, with a clear list of priorities.

"I myself am incredibly focused on solving this housing crisis. I don't think we have any time to waste with this. We have families out there that are struggling to pay their rents and purchase homes, and these are people of all ages."


And with her popularity at an all-time high, could this three-term councillor be Rotorua's next mayor?

"If the community wants me to stand for mayor, because I keep hearing it, then we will look at it as well but over the next three years I'll be focused on ticking off a few key projects and we'll see if the timing's right and the community wants me and we'll go from there."

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