Tightest race in the South gets even tighter

Only five votes separates Glyn Lewers  (left) and AJ Mason (right). Photo: Allied Press files
Only five votes separates Glyn Lewers (left) and AJ Mason (right). Photo: Allied Press files
With just special votes left to count the tightest local body election in the South has got even tighter and now only two votes separate two Queenstown men vying for the final spot on the Lakes district council.

When progress results were counted five votes separated  Frankton Community Association chairman Glyn Lewers and AJ Mason..

But now with the 600 "in transit" votes counted only two votes separate the pair with Mr Lewers on 2132 and Mr Mason on 2130.

There are still 350 special votes to be counted, according to electoral officer Jane Robertson. 

There are six seats in the Wakatipu ward. Niki Gladding is likely elected in fifth place with 2287 while Peter Faul has a lot to do in seventh with 2018.

Mr Mason is a technology strategist, originally an astrophysicist, originally from  Invercargill. He worked on the President’s Council on Sustainable Development at the White House,  USA, and  recently helped organise the Queenstown Climate Change stike. He chairs  Innovation Queenstown, and co-founded Startup Queenstown Lakes.

Mr Lewers is chair of the Frankton Community Association, a board member of Destination Queenstown and involved with Wakatipu Junior Rugby Club. He's also an Engineering New Zealand ambassador involved with aiding teachers to enhance the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths, and holds surveying and civil engineering degrees. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman Jack Barlow said it could take until Thursday before a full result is known.

Mr Mason, on this Facebook campaign page, posted: "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!"
Ms Gladding, Mr Lewers, Mr Mason and Mr Faul are within a 230-vote range.
Mr Mason added: "What I can already say is it has been a privilege to join with all the candidates during this election, all passionate about and dedicated to our community. No matter the final mix, I will be saddened to see those who missed out."


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