After receiving legal advice, ousted councillor Hinerangi Goodman is dropping her legal fight.
Goodman launched a legal battle after a recount of votes in the Whakatane District Council election saw her ousted by one vote a week after being sworn in as councillor for the Murupara-Galatea ward.
After careful consideration of legal advice, Goodman has decided to "gracefully bow out" and will not pursue any legal action against the council.
However, while she is down, she isn't out and has promised she will make a return at the next local government elections.
"It was a huge decision, it wasn't lightly made," Goodman said.
"But in light of the lawyer's advice, myself and my team decided not to carry on."
Goodman said the advice the lawyer gave made her and her team realise that there was nothing they could do to change the law.
"Every judge and lawyer in the land must abide by these laws, as stupid as they may seem," she said.
"It has been a huge learning curve for myself, my team and my people."
While she may be giving up on her legal battle, Goodman said the fight had not been a waste of time and she viewed it more as a victory than a defeat.
She said because of her fight, the people of Murupara were now aware that if they wanted anything to change, they had to turn out to vote.
"If that was our job, then we have done it," Goodman said.
She will now be watching closely to ensure the situation doesn't repeat in future elections.
Council chief executive Stephanie O'Sullivan and mayor Judy Turner met with the Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta last Thursday evening.
"Judy [Turner] rung me to let me know what happened and it seems to be a good outcome," Goodman said.
"I have to say she has a good heart and it was good of her to call me. For the council to come forward and be seen to be walking that path, I think it is brave and the right thing to do."
To fund her battle, Goodman created a Givealittle page, which at the time it closed had raised $1821 in donations.
Goodman said this money would be used to pay the legal fees already incurred and whatever remained would be used to put on a Christmas meal for the children of Murupara.
She said the community behind her, funding the fight, simply did not have the money to carry the whole campaign.
With this particular fight now behind her, Goodman is looking forward to a quiet time with family before preparations begin for the next local government elections.
She said the legal battle had put her, her family and the wider community under significant stress and it was almost a relief to drop the fight and concentrate on the future election.
"With all the chaos I caused, I have to come back and finish it off – live another day, another fight.
"It has been soul-destroying, but it was a successful campaign. It's been a wonderful journey, and I've been so humbled. All in all, we did well."