Justin Lester elected new Mayor for Wellington

Justin Lesters' celebratory speech (Newshub.)
Justin Lesters' celebratory speech (Newshub.)

Justin Lester has been elected the Mayor of Wellington City Council.

Mr Lester says he is "ecstatic" to have been elected.

"This is one of the best days of my life, without a doubt," said Mr Lester.

Mr Lester has won by a clear margin over Nick Leggett, with Jo Coughlan in third place, according to a progress result.

About 4500 votes are yet to be counted but they are not expected to change the result.

Mr Lester says he will "hit the ground running", looking to start implementing the policies he focussed on throughout his capmpaign.

"I want to focus on Wellington's local economy and jobs, making sure that it's really humming.

"I want to focus on making sure that we get a transport solution at the Basin Reserve, and good quality affordable transport too, and then we address the housing imbalance in Wellington. We don't want Wellington to become another Auckland."

Mr Lester says his experience as deputy mayor puts him in good stead for the job.

"I've been in the office for 3 years, I know how it works; I know what works and what doesn't work. I'm looking forward to sitting down with the chief executive tomorrow and with my councillors and getting on with the job."

He has nominated Paul Eagle for deputy Mayor.

Mr Lester succeeds Celia Wade-Brown, who decided to step down after two terms in office.

Voter turnout in Wellington is 42.08 per cent compared with 40.85 per cent in the 2013 elections and the 2010 turnout of 40.11 per cent.