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Deputy mayor takes Wellington

Published: 6:53PM Saturday October 13, 2001

The capital has gained a new mayor and it has meant a promotion for the former mayoral deputy, Kerry Prendergast.

"This city is the most fantastic city in New Zealand and I love it." said Prendergast, with her husband on hand to share the moment at her celebratory party.

"She'll be an excellent mayor for Wellington," said husband Rex Nicholls.

Prendergast is a 15 year veteran of Wellington local body politics, including a stint as deputy to the city's last mayor, Mark Blumsky, who decided not to stand in 2001.

Fiercely contested mayoral race

It had been the most fiercely contested mayoral race in Wellington for years with 14 candidates vying for the $100,000 a year job.

Predictions of a close race failed to materialise with Prendergast winning in a landslide.

"Twice the number of votes as the next candidate that's a pretty good mandate to me," said Prendergast, with the final result though a complete surprise.

"The last time we polled was a couple of weeks ago and it gave me a clear majority, (but) certainly nothing like the majority that's arrived today."

"She's put energy passion into this city," said Blumsky. "She believes in where we're going, she knows what still needs to be done and she'll do it."

"I have it on good authority it's the best job you could ever have ... number one citizen for Wellington," exclaimed Prendergast.

Upper Hutt

And first term councillor Wayne Guppy has taken out the battle for the mayoralty of Upper Hutt.

Guppy's win, by a margin of around 6,000 votes, comes after incumbent mayor Rex Kirton decided to step down following 24 years in the job.

Porirua, Hutt City

Meanwhile, Porirua mayor Jenny Brash has been re-elected unopposed, and the Hutt City mayoralty has been won by John Terris with 16,958 votes. Rival Scott Dalziell won 11,202 votes.