Labour MP Phil Goff has been elected the new Mayor of Auckland.
Phil Goff has won the Auckland mayoralty with 179,206 votes, 47.6 per cent of votes counted to date. His nearest rival Vic Crone received 105,413 votes.
Chloe Swarbrick won 26,474 votes, overtaking John Palino who was tipped to in polls to come third.
An elated Goff received the news from electoral officer Dale Ofsoske in a telephone call at his election function at a central city bar in Auckland.
He succeeds Len Brown, who announced last November he was standing down after two terms as the first Mayor of the Super City.
Goff has listed traffic congestion and housing affordability as the two "overwhelmingly obvious problems" facing Auckland. He has promised to hold rates to 2.5 per cent, stop any further reclamation of Waitemata Harbour for port use and rebuild trust and confidence in the council.
It is another disappointing result for the centre-right, which was split over a leader who could unite them. Crone, with the backing of senior National Party figures, struggled for name recognition; cafe owner John Palino threw his hat in the ring after standing in 2013; and Orakei Local Board member Mark Thomas rejected calls to stand aside.
Goff and the 20 new councillors will be sworn in on November 1. In the meantime, Goff must set about appointing a deputy, setting up a committee structure and start work on his first budget. He must deliver a draft budget before Christmas.
Goff has had a long and distinguished political career. He was first elected the MP for Roskill in 1981, been in Parliament for 32 years, held a number of senior cabinet positions and was Leader of the Opposition between 2008 and 2011.
Vic Crone: Congratulations and thanks
Vic Crone congratulated Goff and thanked supporters after the results were announced.
"Thank you so much to all my supporters its been an incredible journey.
I'm so humbled and so privileged with all the support I've had over the past year."
She said her vote tally of about 150,000 would be a "great base if I did want to have another go".
She congratulated winner Phil Goff.
"While i'll congratulate Mr Goff I'm proud I signed him up to a much stronger agenda than he would've [otherwise].
"I'll make sure he lives up to his side of the bargain."
She implored her supporters to "celebrate this amazing result".
ACT MP David Seymour said he "really admired" Crone's campaign.
"I'm here to support her for giving it a go."
He said new mayor Phil Goff was a "professional", and that it was important central and local government cooperated.
"The real question is can he deal to the bureaucracy.
"Unelected officials seem to wield more power than the elected officials."
Seymour said the closer than expected result was a reflection of Aucklanders' discontent with "business as usual".
Chloe Swarbrick: "Not ruling out a future in politics"
Chloe Swarbrick is now "evaluating" her future.
As her third placing sunk in, Swarbrick said her initial disappointment had faded.
"In the context ... I'm feeling pretty good. I'm hoping the people who voted for me are not feeling too disappointed. This is just the beginning."
She said she had not been contacted by anyone from a political party this afternoon.
"The only calls I'm getting are from media."
Praise of her campaign from Labour Party leader Andrew Little and Greens co-leader James Shaw was nice, but she had made no decisions about her future.
"I'm not ruling out a future in politics but on Monday I'll be returning to work, as I have been working full time throughout this whole campaign."
She had enjoyed showing voters how policy could affect their lives, which is what had attracted her to local government.
"The thing about parliament is obviously you are a little bit more sidled in away from New Zealand.
"But I'm not putting it off the table. It's an option I'm considering."
Goff to resign from Parliament
Goff will now resign from Parliament, allowing for a byelection in Mt Roskill before Christmas - with National's candidate hitting out today at Labour's new candidate as "not honest".
The Green Party last week announced it would not stand a candidate in the byelection, with co-leader Metiria Turei saying it would be closely contested and the Greens didn't want to "play any role in National winning the seat".
That deal is the first in an electorate under the agreement between Labour and the Greens to campaign together more closely and work to increase the centre-left vote.
It could prove critical - in 2014 Goff won with an 8000 vote majority over National's candidate Parmjeet Parmar but National got 14,275 party votes - about 2000 more than Labour.
Today, list MP Parmar said she was yet to be selected as National's byelection candidate.
However, she had a crack at Labour's candidate Michael Wood, who as the party's candidate in Epsom in 2014 described the deal between National and Act as a "rort".
"The deal that has happened between the Greens and Labour shows that the opposition candidate is not honest about what he stands for," Parmar told the Herald.
"I believe in principled leadership. I'm saying this because in Epsom he protested against such a deal, but now he is very willingly accepting such a deal because he believes it will help him get into Parliament."