Stratford district mayor Neil Volzke has been returned to the top seat in what could be termed a landslide victory.

Provisional results show Volzke to have received 68 per cent of votes, with challenger Graham Kelly in second place with 22 per cent of votes. Rawinia Henderson came in third with just under 10 per cent of votes.

Local Focus: Stratford Mayor Neil Volzke not assuming he'll win
Stratford mayor Neil Volzke keeps his job for another term
Neil Volzke confirms he is seeking fourth term as Stratford's mayor
Ten years on and Stratford Community House still serving the community

Volzke says he is very pleased with the result, with final numbers due later this week.


"It's gratifying to be re-elected. I want to thank all those who voted for me and also acknowledge my family and friends for their personal support, as well as thank the community as a whole for showing their faith in the direction Council is heading. My congratulations to all successful candidates."

Neil, who has been mayor for 10 years, says the newly elected Council has a good mix of experienced Councillors and new voices.

"Our council is made up of 10 councillors. Last election we had five new members elected and this time there are three new members. Overall, that is a significant change in a relatively short time. It's also good to have three female councillors this term. In the 18 years I have been a councillor or Mayor, that is the highest number of females we have had."

The mix of ages is diverse, says Neil as well as the different skill sets.

"We have numerous challenges ahead of us on a range of projects and issues, which will require hard work and thought from all of us at the table."

Neil says he is looking forward to the Council-led subdivision being completed, with sections due to be sold soon.

"We are also going to be making decisions on the final design and location of the new swimming pool."

While Neil faced opposition from two other candidates for mayor, he won't be facing either of them at the Council table in the next three years, with neither Rawinia Henderson or Graham Kelly getting enough votes for a seat at the Council table.


Graham, who was a councillor for the rural ward, fell short of the required votes to retain a seat.

He congratulated all successful candidates for the upcoming term, and thanked all who had voted for him.

"The issues that face our town are not going unnoticed. I hope the new Council listen to the people."

Graham also had a message for people who didn't vote.

"To those who didn't vote, I hope you do next time. Your vote is so important because now your voice is lost for a further three years."

Graham also thanked his family and friends for their support over the election period.

"It is greatly appreciated."

Rawinia, who had stood for a seat in the urban ward as well as running for the mayoral chains says both Neil and Graham were "wonderful adversaries" who she wishes the best for in the future.

To the new candidates who had been successful in securing seats, she had some words of advice.

"Be brave, make a stand, don't sit in those seats if your not going to speak up and advocate for those not in a position to do so. Have courage and speak with conviction. Whether you are a minority or a majority voice, stand for something. Dont be afraid to make change."

As for herself and others missing out on a seat, Rawinia was philosophical,

"To those who stood and didn't make it over the line. I stand with you, we missed out together but we gave it a good crack and I for one am extremely proud of you all. We gave the community a choice and it was a good democratic vote this year."

Neil says he is pleased with the increase in voter turnout this year, noting it often is the case when there is a race for the mayoralty as well as council seats.

"It is good voters came out and had their say. More than 50 per cent of those eligible to vote did so, which is an increase on previous years.