Whanganui's new mayor is Annette Main, defeating the outgoing mayor's deputy.
Ms Main says she won the office by just a few hundred votes from six-year deputy mayor Dot McKinnon.
The race was opened by the resignation from the mayoralty by Michael Laws, who returns as a Whanganui District councillor.
As well as winning the mayoralty Ms Main was the highest polling candidate for council.
She says Mr Laws is third or fourth in the poll, demonstrating a hunger for collaborative leadership.
Ms Main says the general feeling in the community is that there hasn't been enough community involvement.
Ms Main owns a tourism lodge on the Whanganui River and has been a Manawatu-Whanganui regional councillor for four terms.
Manawatu and Rangitikei
Rangitikei's Chalky Leary was elected unopposed.
In Palmerston North, incumbent Jono Naylor's 15,942 votes easily defeated former mayor Mark Bell-Booth with just 2000.