'Price to pay': Outgoing Hamilton Mayor Andrew King defends hefty rates hike that cost him his job

Hamilton's now-former Mayor is accepting defeat after a big three years in office.

Paula Southgate has taken the mayoral chains off Andrew King in a major comeback from the election in 2016, where she lost by just six votes. 

Outgoing Mayor Andrew King says it was a tough battle.

"Knowing what I know now with that outcome, I wouldn't have done it any differently," the businessman and property investor told Newshub. "I'm very proud of what we've done and what we've achieved, and there was a price to pay for that - and that was my job."

Hamilton City Council put up rates by an average of 9.7 percent in 2018.

"We fixed the finances, we've touched people's wallets, and people don't forget that quickly, but it was something that had to be done," he told Stuff on Saturday

"I knew there was risk involved in what we did but I'd rather do what was right than let the city continue to be rundown which was where it was headed."

He cites free bus rides for the disabled as one of his biggest achievements in office.

"The whole disabled community can ride buses for free at any time; we've set up a land trust for the working poor, for those who do work and can't pay; just so much for the city, it's fantastic."

King served just one term, defeated by Southgate by nearly 2500 votes.

High-profile candidate Lisa Lewis came second-to-last with just 975 votes.



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