Newly-elected Nelson City councillors, from left: Mike Rutledge, Mel Courtney, Stuart Walker and Bill Dalhberg, outside Civic House. Photo: Andrew Board.

Four new councillors


But Fulton and Brand left dangling as final votes counted


Nelson has at least four new councillors but is waiting on final vote-counting to see whether there will be a fifth.

Mike Rutledge, Bill Dalhberg, Stuart Walker and Mel Courtney were all elected to council on Saturday’s local body election in what will be seen as a big swing to the right.

Provisional results released on Saturday had Trudie Brand as the final elected councillor, but as more votes were counted incumbent Kate Fulton had overtaken Brand by 19 votes.

Vote counting will be completed on Thursday but the official announcement will be made next Monday. Candidates can request a recount if they wish.

Mayor Rachel Reese was the biggest winner on the day, collecting more than double the votes of her nearest rival, Pete Rainey, in a landslide victory.

But for Mike, Bill, Stuart and Mel, Saturday was a very satisfying day.

All said they were delighted to be elected and that the proposed Southern Link was an issue they’d like to see move forward.

The Southern Link would see a new state highway built from Annesbrook to Port Nelson, and it now has at least eight councillors and the mayor who support it. Only Brian McGurk, Matt Lawrey and Luke Acland are against, as is Fulton.

Elected councillors are: Tim Skinner; Brian McGurk; Mike Rutledge; Paul Matheson; Matt Lawrey; Gaile Noonan; Bill Dahlberg; Luke Acland; Ian Barker; Stuart Walker; Mel Courtney and either Trudie Brand or Kate Fulton.