Mayor Ben Bell met with outpouring of support from Gore locals, New Zealand mayors

A vote of no confidence in Gore's District Mayor has failed. 

Locals turned out in support of the country's youngest-ever mayor, to watch councillors, who had previously asked Mayor Ben Bell to resign, backtrack and apologise. 

The people of Gore have spoken again - this time louder and clearer. 

"I voted for him, we voted for him and we want him to stay," one local said.

Even neighbouring mayors showed up to give support. 

"We're just here to support our colleague," Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said.

"What's happening inside here is Gore's business but I'm just here to support our mayoral colleague," Southland Mayor Rob Scott said.

Extra security on hand was on hand as protestors graced the entrance of Gore District Council.

Councillors had called for the extraordinary meeting - asking the Mayor to stand down. But his reception from the public gallery was overwhelming.

"I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for coming here today, I really appreciate the support," Bell said. 

"I know the council as a whole does, it's great to see everyone so active in democracy."

Tuesday's meeting was a culmination of months of discord and a relationship breakdown between CEO Stephen Parry and Mayor Bell. 

When the first fractures started to show the Mayor told Newshub he had no thought about resigning.

"Ultimately up to the community, if I had an outpour from the community asking for my resignation, sure," Bell said.

There was an outpouring on Tuesday - but for the 24-year-old to stay.

"Ben was elected by the people and Steve is at best a paid employee," one local said.

"He's young and he's got a lot to learn, obviously and I think he should be given a few months to get his feet under the table properly before people start making decisions about him," another said.

"We elected Mayor Ben because we wanted change obviously," said a third.

Three resolutions were considered at Tuesday's meeting - a vote of no confidence in the mayor, asking Local Government Minister to intervene and whether to remove the mayor from the council's committees. 

But one by one, the councillors backtracked.

"It was more a cry for help than anything else, this council was hamstrung," Councillor Glenys Dickson said.

"We need to reset and forgive each other."

And when it went to the vote of no confidence, there was silence.

"Then we shall move on if there is no further discussion," Bell said.

But there was one very important person we didn't hear from on Tuesday, CEO Parry who is on compassionate leave. 

One Gore local is so fed up with what they call the "circus surrounding the council", they've started a petition in support of Bell - calling for Parry to resign. As of Tuesday, more than 4000 people have signed it. 

The council unanimously agreed not to proceed with the request to remove the Mayor from all Council committees.

But they'll still write to Local Government New Zealand for help with terms of reference for the independent review into council governance.

A council once divided now doing what's right for the community and those who elected them by getting along.