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Shadbolt aims for the record books
Nearly there: If Tim Shadbolt wins this
year's Invercargill City Council
Mayoralty election in October he will
become the longest standing mayor
ever, entering his ninth term.
Photo: ROBYN EDIE 627642696
THE SHADBOLT FILES
Who: Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt
What: He would become NZ's longest serving mayor ever, with nine
terms, if re-elected in October .
Mayoralty terms: Two as Waitemata City mayor and six in Invercargill.
And did you know: Frana Cardno is NZ's longest-serving female mayor,
with seven consecutive terms.
Longstanding mayor eyes up ninth term for a New Zealand first. Reporter Louise Berwick explains.
If Tim Shadbolt is re-elected
Invercargill City Council Mayor
this year he will go down in the
history books -- and that's exactly
what he wants.
With six terms as ICC mayor, and
two previous terms in control at
Waitemata City, Mr Shadbolt is
the longest-serving mayor in
office in the country.
But he would become New
Zealand's longest serving mayor
ever -- with nine terms to his
name -- if he was re-elected to the
Invercargill hot seat in October.
''I like making those sort of
historical things, like the longest
[television] interview,'' Mr
Mr Shadbolt has been Invercargill
mayor for six terms and 17 years
after first being elected in 1993,
following the death of Eve Poole,
before he missed out on the
position in 1995. But since his
return to the helm of the city in
1998, he has won every
Invercargill mayoralty election.
And his mayoral longevity had
caught himself out.
''It's been as much as a surprise to
me as members of the public, I
He would surpass Manukau
City's, Sir Barry Curtis, to
become New Zealand's longest
serving mayor if he beats his only
Invercargill opponent at this
stage, former Invercargill City
councillor Lindsay Dow.
So what's the secret to lasting so
long in a game that frequently
chews people up and spits them
''I think one of the primary rolls
of mayor is communication.
You've got to be able to reach
out,'' Mr Shadbolt said.
While he stopped short of saying
he was confident about being re-
elected, Mr Shadbolt had got this
far and it would be disappointing
to miss out, he said.
''I realised how unpredictable it
can be. It only takes one mistake
to trip you up.''
He realised the fate of his future
was in the hands of the public.
''I will be running as long as I am
fit and healthy. It's not a decision
''There's only one group of people
who decide if I am the mayor or
But one thing was for sure -- he
was hoping to be there until the
''If you die in office, then council
have to pay for your funeral.''
Tim Shadbolt will defend his
title for the longest television
interview -- if it has been
The Invercargill mayor holds
the official record for the
longest television interview
of 26 hours and 4 seconds
after he smashed the pre-
vious record last year of
12hrs and 30s set by Pedro
Ruiz in Spain in 2009.
Mr Shadbolt was inter-
viewed by Cue TVs Tom
Conroy at the SIT Centre-
Stage Theatre for the record-
But last month a Norwegian
crime novelist and journalist
managed to speak for 30
hours in an online broadcast.
While their efforts are yet to
be officially recognised by
the Guinness World Records,
Mr Shadbolt said if it does
become an official record
breaker, he would do it all
again to try and regain his
Mr Shadbolt said there were
a number of factors that the
Guinness World Records
would have to check, includ-
ing the timing of breaks,
which were strictly less than
five minutes, he said.
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