9 August 2022

Paula Southgate confirmed as new Mayor

No change for elected councillors in final results

By Gurbir Singh:

Paula Southgate is officially the new Mayor of Hamilton in the final results announced this morning after counting of special votes.

Southgate secured 13,452 votes, ahead of incumbent Andrew King who received 10,315. 

Paula Southgate
Hamilton’s new Mayor (Photo: NewsViews)

The final results, which include special votes, show no change to the provisionally elected councillors.

East Ward Councillors

Mark Bunting, Kesh Naidoo-Rauf (top row), Maxine van Oosten, Margaret Forsyth, Ryan Hamilton & Rob Pascoe

West Ward Councillors

Angela O’Leary, Martin Gallagher(top row),Geoff Taylor, Sarah Thomson, Dave Macpherson & Ewan Wilson

Special votes saw the gap between Ewan Wilson (5965 votes), the sixth-placed West Ward councillor, and his nearest challenger, Louise Hutt, decrease by 73 votes.

But this was not enough for the youngest contender, Hutt, who finished with 5885 votes, to take the final West Ward seat.

James Casson (6380 votes) was the seventh-placed East Ward candidate but was overtaken by Meleane Burgess (6394 votes) after special votes were counted. 

Led by Mayor Paula Southgate, the council will now have five female and seven male councillors.

Sitting councillors, Siggi Henry, James Casson and Garry Mallett failed to be re-elected.

Hamilton’s voter turnout in this election hit 38.78 per cent, the highest it’s been since 2004 and was probably the first local election where social media played a significant role.

Meanwhile Hamilton City Council has confirmed that an election video put together to drive up voting numbers was the most popular video it has ever produced.

The quirky video featured locals challenging Nelson to beat Hamilton’s voting figures. It was part of a joint campaign by 11 councils across New Zealand to help drive up voting returns in local elections.

Communication and Engagement Manager Natalie Palmer says Hamilton’s video was viewed more than 32,000 times. On LinkedIn alone, it was watched by more than 7000 people.