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Yeoman secures Coastal North seat on final election results

18 Oct 2019, 6:39 PM

Newly-released final election results have seen Councillor Joce Yeoman emerge the victor by a slender 37-vote margin in an unexpectedly close battle for the remaining seat in the Northland Regional Council’s Coastal North constituency.

The result means there’s no place on the new council for its former two-term chair Bill Shepherd.

As expected, newcomer Councillor Marty Robinson’s strong Election Day standing meant there was little doubt he would be one of the two councillors representing the sprawling electorate, which stretches from north of Hikurangi to beyond Kerikeri.

Final results this evening show Cr Robinson received 6578 votes, a comfortable vote margin of exactly 900 over Cr Yeoman, his closest challenger.

However, those final results also bring an end to an anxious few days for Cr Yeoman and Mr Shepherd, with relief for the former and disappointment for the latter.

Initial ‘progress’ results on Election Day gave Mr Shepherd a 61-vote lead over Cr Yeoman, however ‘preliminary’ votes released the next day reversed their fortunes, with Cr Yeoman returned to office with a 14-vote margin over the former chair.

Final vote figures were originally expected to be released yesterday but were further delayed until this evening and when released more than doubled Cr Yeoman’s slender majority at the beginning of this week to a still narrow 37-votes over Mr Shepherd.

Elsewhere in Northland, the final votes have confirmed the results of Election Day, which collectively delivered four ‘new’ faces to the nine-member regional council. (Two councillors Kaipara’s Penny Smart and Hokianga-Kaikohe’s Justin Blaikie had already been re-elected unopposed when nominations closed in August.)

Newcomers include Amy Macdonald, whose 2182 votes saw her take out the hotly-contested Coastal Central Constituency over five other hopefuls, including the man who had previously held the seat, Paul Dimery. On final voting, Cr Macdonald managed 543 votes more than Mr Dimery, her closest challenger.

Other councillors to lose their seats included Mike Finlayson who saw Te Hiku constituency go to former Far North District Councillor Colin ‘Toss’ Kitchen, whose final 3470 votes were 818 more than Mr Finlayson, his only challenger.

In the Whangarei Urban Constituency, long-time councillor John Bain retained his seat – one of two positions available – with 5731 votes, 84 more than his closest challenger Jack Craw. However, the success of Cr Craw – a former regional council employee – came at the expense of the former council’s Deputy Chairman David Sinclair who polled 725 votes fewer than Cr Craw.

Voters in the Coastal South Constituency returned Rick Stolwerk to the position he had occupied for the past three years, his 3522 votes were 1272 more than his only opponent David Lourie.

A powhiri for the new council – and its inaugural meeting – will be held from 9.30am on Tuesday 29 October and the public is welcome to attend. 

One of the first orders of business for the new council will be the swearing in of councillors, then selection of council’s new chair and their deputy.

Unlike district councils, whose mayors are chosen by the public through local elections, the regional council’s equivalent – its chair – will be voted in by the councillors themselves.

Final results as of 18 October show successful regional councillors as:

  • Coastal Central constituency (one vacancy); Amy Macdonald.
  • Coastal North constituency (two vacancies); Marty Robinson, Jocelyn Yeoman.
  • Coastal South constituency (one vacancy); Rick Stolwerk.
  • Hokianga-Kaikohe constituency (one vacancy); Justin Blaikie (elected unopposed)
  • Kaipara constituency (one vacancy); Penny Smart (elected unopposed)
  • Te Hiku constituency (one vacancy); Colin ‘Toss’ Kitchen.
  • Whangarei Urban constituency (two vacancies); John Bain, Jack Craw