QLDC's new mayor to lead a council with fresh faces and experience

by Kim Bowden - Oct 08, 2022

More than 10,000 residents and ratepayers in the Queenstown Lakes District have had a say in deciding who'll represent them for the next three years.

And with the bulk of votes counted, Glyn Lewers has been elected to replace outgoing Jim Boult as the district's mayor.

Mr Lewers was elected as a first-time councillor at the last local elections, claiming his spot around the decision-making table after an infamous coin toss due to tying with another ward candidate.

This time around Mr Lewers' win is more decisive - he's received 3,678 votes ahead of mayoral challengers Jon Mitchell, with 3,105 votes, Olivia Wensley, with 2,110 votes, Al Angus, with 678 votes, Neeta Shetty, with 432 votes, and Daniel Shand, with 166 votes.

Although unsuccessful with her mayoralty bid Ms Shetty will join Mr Lewers on the council representing the Arrowtown-Kawarau ward, where she's received 1,282 of votes. She's joined by incumbent councillor Craig (Ferg) Ferguson, with 2,148 votes, and first-timer Lisa Guy, with 1,577 votes.

In neighbouring Queenstown-Whakatipu ward, incumbent councillors Esther Whitehead, with 1,623 votes, and Niki Gladding, with 1,358 votes, will be joined by iFly director Matt Wong, with 1,944 votes, and engineer Gavin Bartlett, with 1,446 votes.

Over the Crown Range, voters have returned Quentin Smith, with 2,967 votes, to the council, and joining him representing the Wānaka-Upper Clutha ward are Barry Bruce, with 2,224 votes, Lyal Cocks, with 2,069 votes, and Cody Tucker, with 1,931 votes.

There's some new faces on the Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board - Simon Telfer, with 2,740 votes, John Wellington, with 1,814 votes, and Linda Joll, with 1,652 votes, will join incumbent board member Chris Hadfield, with 2,060 votes.

Barry Bruce has received 2,287 votes for the Wānaka-Upper Clutha Community Board, but instead takes the position as Wānaka-Upper Clutha councillor; similarly, Lyal Cocks, with 1,954 votes for the community board, has been elected both to the board and as a ward councillor but takes only the position as councillor.

The results are based on a count of approximately 90 percent of returned votes.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the QLDC says the results exclude any votes in transit to the processing centre and special votes.

The outcome of these elections may change once all votes have been counted, the spokesperson says.

Final results are expected on Thursday, October 13.

Across the district only 37.25 percent of eligible voters had their say - that's 10,464 votes.

Read more:

First interview: Lewers promises change

Mayoral runner-up Jon Mitchell delays conceding defeat


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