Andy Foster has been elected mayor of Wellington, ousting incumbent Justin Lester.
The candidates had had a nailbiting wait for results after a large number of last-minute ballots were still to be counted today.
Last night, with the count of 90 percent of the votes completed, Andy Foster was leading incumbent Justin Lester by 715 votes, and 5600 special votes were being counted today.
Mr Foster told RNZ's Insight election special that if he was elected mayor, his prominent backer Sir Peter Jackson would not be influencing what happened within the new council.
Mr Lester told the programme that while he knew special votes tended to favour the left, "at 700 votes down, I'm realistic, that's a big turnaround." He said whatever the outcome, he wished the best for the council, because he also wanted the best for Wellington.