Les Mills - Mayor of Auckland City

Mayor of Auckland City

Mills served as the Mayor of Auckland City between 1990 and 1998. His Mayoral term commenced with a by-election in 1990 after the resignation of Dame Catherine Tizard, who had been appointed Governor-General. The new council had been formed following local body amalgamation in 1989 which saw many of the district borough councils merged into one larger city. Mills' first term oversaw the merger of these many district boroughs into one city. The Aotea Centre was also opened at the beginning of his term. Other initiatives which commenced on Mills' watch as Mayor included the introduction of the green "wheelie bins", metered user charges for water use, council assets like golf courses were leased to private management, and the city also quit some assets that no longer were of priority, like its abattoir.

Other major events during Mills' tenure included work commencing on the America's Cup Village at the Auckland viaduct, the commencement and opening of the Sky Tower and Casino complex that now dominates the Auckland skyline, the redevelopment of the Civic theatre, and refurbishment of the Auckland Town Hall.

During this period, the 1998 Auckland power crisis occurred, which shut down most of the inner city. Mills' Britomart Transport Centre plans also came under some criticism as being too focused on property development and not enough on transport. His successor Christine Fletcher led plans for a scaled down Britomart Station without the large property development plans.

Mills was defeated in a three way contest between himself, businessman Richard Holden and eventual winner Christine Fletcher in 1998. Mills himself was absent for most of the election campaign, leading the New Zealand team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and mentoring the gold medal winning discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina.

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