Voting numbers up: younger mayors, more women picked

Campbell Barry (Hutt City) is the country's youngest mayor at 28 years old. Photo: RNZ
Campbell Barry (Hutt City) is the country's youngest mayor at 28 years old. Photo: RNZ
Preliminary counts show more people voted in this year's local elections than previous years.

Overall turnout stood at just over 44% as of yesterday, compared with 42% in 2016 and 41.3% in 2013.

Local Government New Zealand said figures for New Plymouth and smaller districts are yet to come.

A spokesperson for LGNZ, Mike Reid, said voter turnout may have fallen in those areas, which would erode the overall number.

While the rest of the country's voters stepped up their turnouts, Auckland and Wellington are about 6% below the previous election, with Auckland sitting at 30% and Wellington 36%.

Voter turnout was 44%, preliminary figures show. Photo: ODT files
Voter turnout was 44%, preliminary figures show. Photo: ODT files

Saturday's election results have injected a lot of new blood into local government.

A quarter of mayors elected were women, up from 19% three years ago. Local Government New Zealand said more women have also won council seats.

Politicians under 40 years of age include newly-elected mayors for Hutt City, Timaru, and Dunedin , as well as the re-elected mayors for Selwyn and Central Hawke's Bay.

Campbell Barry (28) becomes the country's youngest mayor at Hutt City.

Mr Reid said the turnover in councillors is higher than usual.

"There is certainly evidence of younger councillors being elected than we've had in the past. Possibily more newer councillors than we've seen before; on average I guess probably about 30 to 35 percent councillors turnover."

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