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Final vote totals after preferences were transferred and candidates had been excluded were: Dave Cull 22,832; Peter Chin 14,453; Lee Vandervis 6,692; Aaron Hawkins 1745; Olivier Lequeux 1204, Kevin Dwyer 208, Jimmy Knowles 124.
At a barbecue at his Portobello Rd home, surrounded by family and Greater Dunedin colleagues, Mayor-elect Cull (60) said his initial reaction was "relief".
"It confirmed my hopes," he said of the result.
Now, though, was the "challenge" of the new council.
Mr Cull, a writer who has served one term as a councillor, said he had already received a telephone call from outgoing Mayor Peter Chin, in which Mr Chin congratulated "very graciously" him on his win.
Mr Cull said his first job as mayor would be to regain the trust of the community, by engaging with it more constructively.
First preference votes were: Dave Cull 21,757; Peter Chin 14,084; Lee Vandervis 5917; Aaron Hawkins 1527; Olivier Lequeux 1164, Kevin Dwyer 197, Jimmy Knowles 124.
The full list of Dunedin City Council results is here
For full reaction and analysis buy Monday's print Otago Daily Times.