Dunedin has gone green as Aaron Hawkins takes the top title.
The Green Party councillor says the provisional results show he is in a comfortable position to win the mayoralty.
At just 35 years old, Mr Hawkins is one of the country's youngest mayors.
The two-term councillor has faced tough competition with 13 other candidates vying for the mayoralty after incumbent Dave Cull decided against running again.
It was humbling to be given the privilege of leading the next council, he said.
The city was facing a exciting and challenging time, and he couldn't wait to get stuck in, Mr Hawkins said.