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New Zealand's longest serving mayor to step down

14 August 2007

New Zealand's longest serving mayor to step down

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis has announced he will not be standing as a candidate in the upcoming local authority elections in October.

Sir Barry has been mayor of Manukau since 1983. Currently in his eighth term of office, he is New Zealand's longest-serving mayor and has been involved in public life for over four decades.

He was initially elected as a councillor in 1968, three years after the city of Manukau was formed. In 1971 he was also elected as a member of the Auckland Regional Authority and was re-elected four times before being elected mayor. Between 1977 and 1983 he acted as chairman of the Authority's planning committee.

In his earlier career Sir Barry was a surveyor and town planner. This background enabled him to provide strong leadership and direction to the expansion of Manukau, which has for some years been the fastest growing large city in New Zealand. Manukau is now the third largest city in population terms and growing by 10,000 per year.

As mayor, Sir Barry has been giving around 300 speeches a year and attended approximately 1000 public and community events.
Community development has long been a key focus of Sir Barry's mayoralty and it remains a priority for Manukau City Council. This encompasses not only the building of vital infrastructure such as roads, but also building strong and healthy communities.

"One of my guiding passions is social justice and promoting opportunity for all, no matter what their social background. I came from a poor family and my father was a waterside worker. That is why I know how it feels to be born on the wrong side of the tracks. I never forget that.

"I have worked hard to make Manukau the place it is today and creating the infrastructure and quality public services that the community expects has been vitally important to me."


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