Local body elections completed in New Zealand

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New Zealand’s local body elections have come to an end.

These elections enable communities to choose the people that run their councils and become their mayor.

This year saw an increase in the number of women mayors, rising from 30 percent three years ago to 34 percent now.

An initial study of this year’s voting shows a total turnout of around 36 percent of New Zealander voted. Turnout in the cities was down by 1.4 percent to 36.4 percent of potential voters.

Rural turnout fell 7.5 percent to 45 percent and voting in provincial cities was down 6.5 percent to 40 percent of potential voters.

Dead Heat in Grey District

One of the most remarkable stories from the elections was the dead heat in the Grey District election.

The final councilor position had to be decided by a special vote after two candidates ended up with exactly the same number of votes.

Northern ward candidates Kate Kennedy and James Rogatski were only three votes apart after the preliminary results were announced. They then ended up tied on 199 votes each after special votes were counted.

This meant that the winner had to be decided by the luck of the draw.

Kennedy said the draw took place in the council chief executive’s office, and she and Rogatski wrote their names on the back of business cards.

Kennedy eventually won the ballot and will attend her first council meeting on Thursday.

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