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Published: 2007-10-13 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has seven new councillors following today’s local body election, with five councillors losing their seats.

Cr Ian Balme, who switched from the Hamilton constituency, was successful in his challenge to take chairman Jenni Vernon’s Central Waikato seat. Cr Balme earned 3422 votes, winning the seat by more than 600 votes.

New councillors in the Hamilton constituency include Jane Hennebry, Anthony Armstrong, and Pat Gregory, all standing on the Rates Control ticket. Only Cr Paula Southgate has held onto her seat in Hamilton.

Jane Hennebry was the highest polling candidate with 12,945 votes. Anthony Armstrong was next highest polling candidate on 12,303, closely followed by Pat Gregory on 12,235 and Paula Southgate on 12,223.

Councillors Lois Livingstone and David Peart have lost their Hamilton seats, while Cr Angus Macdonald, who moved from the North Waikato constituency to the Hamilton constituency failed to gain the numbers to be returned to the council.

In the Thames-Coromandel constituency, Rates Control candidate Simon Friar, with 4325 votes, defeated incumbent Arthur Hinds by 1000 votes.

In the South Waikato constituency, Rates Control candidate Norm Barker, with 2576 votes, won the seat left vacant by retiring veteran councillor Jim Howland.

Councillors Basil Morrison (Hauraki), Rex Hawkins (Taupo) and Steve Osborne (Matamata-Piako) all retired from Environment Waikato.

Two new councillors and three incumbents were earlier elected unopposed:

Matamata-Piako constituency – Frank Healey (new)
North Waikato-Hauraki constituency – Peter Buckley (new)
Taupo constituency – Laurie Burdett
Waipa-King Country constituency – John Fisher
Waipa-King Country constituency – Andra Neeley.

Preliminary results are available on the website www.ew.govt.nz. Formal notification of the final results will be published next week on the website and in newspapers.
Council’s constituency boundaries have changed for this year’s election following a membership review undertaken last year. At the 2004 election there were 10 constituencies with 14 members. This year there are eight constituencies with 12 members.