Craig Mackle is Kaikoura’s new Mayor after a cliffhanger result decided by special votes.
Mr Mackle won the top job by 12 votes from John Diver.
The results was announced on Wednesday night giving Mr Mackle 513 votes after special votes were counted, and Mr Diver 501.
Mr Mackle, who clung to a eight vote lead before preliminary votes were counted, and told the North Canterbury News he was delighted at the support voters in the district had given.
Neither Mr Mackle or Mr Diver had sought a seat on council, where there were just enough nominations for the seven seats.
Mr Mackle has lived in Kaikoura nearly all his life and is passionate about Kaikoura.
He was co-owner of Harmac Concrete for 16 year which provided concrete for the reconstruction of SH1 post-earthquake.
Mr Mackle was a councillor for six years and believes he can lead the town forward.
“We are facing unprecedented challenges for our small rating base – finishing the infrastructure rebuild as close to budget as feasible, finding a way forward for our solid waste and making sure we are financially sustainable,” Mr Mackle said in his election profile statement.