13 Oct 2013

Harry Duynhoven loses New Plymouth after one term

8:10 am on 13 October 2013

New Plymouth has given mayor Harry Duynhoven the boot.

Voters have elected two-term councillor Andrew Judd to become mayor by a huge majority, 16,800 votes to Mr Duynhoven's 7600 votes.

Mr Duynhoven, a former Labour MP, becomes the first New Plymouth mayor in more than 50 years to not get re-elected after one term.

The incoming mayor says he has a clear mandate to improve the city's financial situation.

Mr Judd says his biggest priority is to fix spending and finances, including the city's poorly performing investment fund, which owns dairy farms in Tasmania.

In South Taranaki, Ross Dunlop gets another turn at mayor, as does Neil Volzke in Stratford. Both returned with a large majority.

Second term for Main

In Whanganui, Annette Main has gained her second term as mayor, beating former outspoken mayor and current councillor Michael Laws.

Whanganui mayor Annette Main.

Whanganui mayor Annette Main. Photo: RNZ

Ms Main received just under 9500 votes while Michael Laws received 6788 votes.

Ms Main said she was thrilled the Whanganui community had faith in her to continue for the next three years.

"Look, Michael had his time. He had six years as mayor of Whanganui, and I guess this sends a message that Whanganui wants to carry on with what we've started in the last three years," she said.

The campaign has been a difficult time for her personally as her husband, John Blythe, had died suddenly in June.

Mr Laws said he did not expect to win as he had had to suspend his campaign for three weeks while caring for his children when his former partner fell ill.

Ms Main says rebuilding the city's failed wastewater treatment plant is already underway and debt is being managed.

She says her priority is marketing Whanganui and letting others know what fantastic things are happening in the city.

Four new councillors have been elected to the council, including arts promoter, Helen Craig, and Whanganui's Chamber of Commerce president Jenny Duncan.