Final ward seat a cliffhanger

Only five votes separates Glyn Lewers  (left) and AJ Mason (right). Photo: Allied Press files
Only two votes separates Glyn Lewers (left) and AJ Mason (right). Photo: Allied Press files
"I've been asking everyone `how do you half open a bottle of Champagne?'," says Queenstown Lakes District council candidate Glyn Lewers.

Mr Lewers has, provisionally, taken the last of six Queenstown-Wakatipu ward seats.

But there are just two votes between him and fellow candidate AJ Mason, in one of the closest local body election races in the country.

"It's an uncontrollable for me, so I just have to sit and wait. AJ is a talented guy, so it will be bittersweet whatever happens."

It could be Thursday before the result is known.

Yesterday, when the provisional results were announced, there were still 350 special votes to be counted.

Niki Gladding (2287) and Mr Lewers (2132) took the final two seats, while Mr Mason (2130) and Peter Faul (2018) missed out. That means there were just 269 votes between the four.

Mr Lewers had not considered whether he would ask for a recount if unsuccessful. "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

Meanwhile, Mr Mason, on his Facebook campaign page, said: "Do you think we might be taking this adventure and adrenaline brand a bit too far?

"Probably isn't absolutely necessary to bring it into our elections as well, but still, you can always rely on Queenstown to make things interesting!"

Whatever the final mix, he is saddened some "passionate ... dedicated" candidates will miss out.

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