Election to the ranks of Tauranga City Council is another challenge successfully overcome for new councillor Tony Christiansen, who has made a life out of rising to the top.

Since losing both his legs in a train-shunting accident when he was aged nine, Mr Christiansen has built an exciting and varied life for himself, which among other things, has included working as an inspirational speaker and other achievements including speedway and drag racing, qualifying as a lifeguard, gaining a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, learning to fly, and even climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.

Saturday's election results were a triumph for Mr Christiansen, who not only succeeded in being elected, but did so as the top-polling at large candidate, receiving 10,268 votes, more than 230 ahead of the next-highest at large candidate, Rick Curach.

One of the real characters of this year's election campaign, Mr Christiansen will undoubtedly bring a positive attitude and some spark and vitality to the council.

His aspirational attitude and determination to remain positive, even in the face of adversity, can only be a good thing for a council whose last term was marked by negativity and disunity. Speaking to this newspaper on Saturday, Mr Christiansen said he felt like it was time for him to "give something back" to Tauranga.

While he's admitted to not having much political experience, it's clear that Mr Christiansen is no lightweight, and his vast and varied track record suggests he will easily make the adjustment to the vagaries of local-body politics.

However, this election campaign is not Mr Christiansen's first tilt at politics, so he does have some experience to draw on. In 2008 he stood in the national elections as a candidate for the Kiwi Party, headed by Larry Baldock, who in an ironic twist, also gained selection for council over the weekend.

It will be interesting to see whether Mr Christiansen and Mr Baldock end up as an informal voting bloc on council.

Whatever happens from here, the voting public of Tauranga has given Mr Christiansen an overwhelming mandate to stamp his own brand of positivity on the council.

While it can't be ignored that only two sitting councillors were voted out, the poll suggest that in Mr Christiansen, the Tauranga public felt it was time for a fresh face on council, someone who approached things differently. Now, the onus is on him to deliver.