Mike Lee’s long career in local body politics is officially over after the final results for Auckland Council confirmed he has lost the Waitemata and Gulf seat to Pippa Coom.
Lee said on Facebook today he had received a phone call to confirm he had lost to Coom.
On the final count, Coom received 6581 votes to Lee’s 6257, a majority of 324 votes.
This was up on Coom’s a provisional lead of 150 votes following the local body elections last Saturday.
Coom was the former chair of the Waitemata Local Board who stood under the left-leaning City Vision ticket that had endorsed Lee in the past.
Lee has been philosophical about the prospect of losing after originally planning to retire to his home on Waiheke Island before having his arm twisted by members of the “B Team” on council to seek a fourth term.
Lee was elected to the former Auckland Regional Council in 1992 and became chairman in 2004, where he oversaw a revival of rail in the city and expansion of the city’s regional parks. During his tenure, the ARC rejected the Labour Government’s plan to build a waterfront stadium for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
In the last term of council, he was a strong critic of Mayor Phil Goff, condemning his parliamentary style of politics over the collegial approach of local government.
Coom is a strong supporter of Goff and best known for supporting the rollout of cycleways in the city.
She was delighted to win the seat and get stuck into the work that needs to be done.
She said the council is facing big challenges around transport, housing the environment and climate change, saying it is going to be one of the big tasks this term.
Coom acknowledged Lee’s long career in local politics and his achievements, particularly on the ARC, but said he end up with a quite a different vision than her for the city.
Tracy Mulholland has also been confirmed as the new Auckland councillor for Whau when the special votes were counted and final results declared.
At the final vote, she had 5853 votes and Clow had 5663 votes – a 190 vote majority.
Before today, Mulholland had a provisional lead of 166 votes following the local body elections.
Clow was a member of Goff’s inner circle last term and chaired the finance committee.
His loss leaves Goff with two senior vacancies to fill after the environment and committee chair, Penny Hulse, retired at the elections.
Mulholland stood for the centre-right Communities and Residents ticket after standing for Labour at the 2016 local body elections for the Whau Local Board and becoming chair.
She fell out with Labour and quit the party to join the de facto National ticket days out from the close of nominations.