Gore officially home to youngest-ever New Zealand mayor after recount application thrown out

It's confirmed - Gore is home to the youngest mayor in New Zealand's history.

Ben Bell will be sworn in next week after a recount application from the 18-year incumbent was thrown out by the district court.

Gore has had to wait longer than anywhere else to find out who will hold their town's top job.

That wait is now over.

"So exciting, it's just good, you know, frustrating to have to wait so long but I'm glad the process was followed and we got the result that we got," Bell said.

Newshub was with Bell the day he won by just eight votes after special votes were counted last month.

"Oh I feel fantastic, really, really excited," Bell said at the time.

Soon after, incumbent Tracy Hicks filed a recount application with concerns over possible errors in counting.

Not only was it a slim margin but there were 114 blank voting papers too.

In a decision on Wednesday, Judge Kevin Kelly said he was not satifised that Hicks had reasonable grounds for a recount or that it may offer a different result.

"I would've thought with the costs falling on the applicant, there's no downside in the system of going through and doing that recount," Hicks said.

The judgement officially ended his 18-year term in local office.

"I'm very proud of this community, I love this community. I was born and raised here, I plan to be around here for quite some time," Hicks said.

Now it's time to hand the chains over to the next generation.

"Let's get on with it, yeah," Bell said.

Bell will be sworn in as mayor next week at just 23 years of age.