Mr Bell (23) becomes New Zealand’s youngest mayor.
After a powhiri to welcome the councillors and mayor, former mayor Tracy Hicks passed over the mayoral chain of office to Mr Bell.
Mr Bell thanked Mr Hicks for his 18 years of service.
‘‘I hope to do both yourself and all the former mayors proud.’’
The other milestone of the event was the swearing in of brothers Paul and Richard McPhail, which is the first time brothers have served together on the council.