A prominent scientist says she's "gutted" by the result of the Auckland Mayoral election, which centre-right candidate Wayne Brown won in convincing fashion.
Auckland on Saturday elected Brown as Mayor, receiving about 50,000 more votes than his nearest rival - Labour-endorsed Efeso Collins.
"Gutted for Auckland," said the University of Auckland's Siouxsie Wiles, a microbiologist who became a household name in New Zealand after the emergence of COVID-19.
"We need a Mayor who reflects our vibrant city & has transformational ideas that deal with climate change & the other challenges we face. Instead, we've got Wayne Brown," Dr Wiles wrote on Twitter.
Before Brown's election, Auckland had been served by outgoing Mayor Phil Goff - a former Labour leader - for six years.
"Both myself and my rival Efeso love Auckland but there are things that need fixing," Brown said on Saturday.
"Let me be very clear: Wellington's job is to listen to what Aucklanders want, to listen to what we say is our priorities and to fund them."
Collins, meanwhile, confirmed he would leave politics.
"That's the end of local Government for me," he said. "I've enjoyed nine years of local Government and representing this community in particular."
Collins also sent his "sincere congratulations" to Brown.
"[You] have my full support and thanks for being so respectful and robust," Collins said on Twitter. "All the best."
Official results on Saturday showed Brown received more than 144,000 votes, while Collins sat at just above 89,000.