Celia Wade-Brown Wins Wellington Mayoralty

13 October 2010

The results are in - Celia Wade-Brown has been elected Mayor of Wellington for the next three years. She will be sworn in as Mayor on Wednesday 27 October.

Celia Wade-Brown beat incumbent Kerry Prendergast by a total of 176 votes in the end, 24,881 to 24,705 votes - believed to be the closest mayoral race the Capital has seen.

A total of 632 special votes were finally included.

Some 963 special votes were originally issued. Of these, 774 were returned to the electoral office by the deadline of 12 noon last Saturday. A total of 90 special votes had to be discarded because they could not be verified by the Registrar of Electors. Another 52 votes were disallowed because the declarations were not in order.

The Registrar is responsible for compiling and maintaining the electoral roll, only they can determine if a person is eligible to cast a vote.

The Council's Electoral Officer, Ross Bly, says special votes take more time to count as they have to be meticulously processed first.

"We had to verify that all special voters were eligible to vote in Wellington and make sure no one had voted twice. Making sure everyone's enrolled, checking and double checking to make triply sure - this takes a lot of time when you've got almost a thousand special votes to go through," says Ross.

The results for City Councillors were announced on Saturday.

City Councillors elected were: Ngaire Best, Justin Lester and Helene Ritchie (Northern Ward), Jo Coughlan, Andy Foster and John Morrison (Onslow-Western Ward), Stephanie Cook, Ian McKinnon and Iona Pannett (Lambton Ward), Ray Ahipene-Mercer, Leonie Gill and Simon Marsh (Eastern Ward), Paul Eagle and Bryan Pepperell (Southern Ward).

The declaration of the final election result will be published in local newspapers this Friday.  The Mayor and Councillors take office on the day after the official declaration (Saturday), however they cannot act until they are sworn in on 27 October. Non-returning Councillors and Mayor Prendergast will leave office on Saturday.

Voter turnout was 40.11 percent, a slight increase on the 2007 election turnout of 40 percent.