Top 200 : Designworks Visionary Leader Tim Shadbolt – Bold and different

Bold and different – two words that sum up the Designworks 2008 Top 200 Visionary Leader.
This extraordinary and often controversial individual was born in Auckland in 1947. He was foundation pupil and prefect at Rutherford High School.
He went to Auckland University from 1966 to 1970, majoring in history. But it was student activism rather than academic achievement that captivated him. He was prominent in the Progressive Youth Movement, opposed the Manapouri dam project, the war in Vietnam and host of other issues.
He was arrested many times for his political protesting.
After university, he started his own concrete contracting business, managed the family orchard, wrote controversial book entitled Bullshit and Jelly Beans and worked for various community and political causes.
Then he climbed into the political tent. He stood for mayor of Waitemata City in 1983 and won. He celebrated by towing his trusty concrete mixer behind the mayoral car.
He was re-elected in 1986, but lost when Waitemata City was enlarged to the newly formed Waitakere City in 1989.
In 1993, he moved south and became mayor of Invercargill. The rest is history.
His efforts and wins on behalf of his adopted city are many and eclectic.
Most recently he turned, what some considered lost cause, into cause célèbre, by using his mayoral contingency fund to feed and save the sows ears’ of Auckland Island pigs to create silk purse of stem cell research that may eventually save millions of individuals suffering from diabetes.
As this year’s judges said: Tim Shadbolt has long-standing and well deserved reputation for standing up for causes he and the average Kiwi believe in. He puts his heart and soul into whatever he does. He works tirelessly to promote his causes, places and his people.
Not everyone agrees with him but, Tim Shadbolt is visionary and iconic leader who is unquestionably bold and different.

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