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Bob Harvey set to hang up mayoral chains

Friday 8 Oct 2010 9:51 p.m.

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By Kim Choe

Tomorrow, Auckland will have a new ‘super mayor’.

But tonight, one of those not standing for the new position had his swansong.

Wearing his mayoral chains for the final time, Waitakere City’s iconic mayor of 18 years, Bob Harvey, wouldn’t go so far as to admit he was feeling sad about it.

“I’m feeling very humble actually,” he told 3 News.

“Eighteen years has gone very fast. But they’ve been 18 glorious years in the West.”

The West Auckland mayoralty will disappear along with six other Auckland offices, when the new Auckland Council comes into effect on November 1.

But Mr Harvey says he has little choice but to hang up the chains tonight.

“Tomorrow is election day,” he says.

“They’ll elect a new mayor for the city of Auckland. We’ll be part of that. And I think it will be just wrong to wear these chains again after tonight.”

Earlier today, the Auckland mayors gathered to show of their chains one last time.

Mr Harvey is happy to let Auckland City Mayor John Banks and Manukau Mayor Len Brown fight it out for the new top job.

He says he still has grave reservations about the new Auckland Council.

“I think the chances of it not working are reasonably high,” he says.

“For me this has been a triumph, and I didn’t want to end my career in what might be a very difficult and very complex situation.”

Mr Harvey will head the Waterfront Development Agency, with his first task to get the fraught Queens Wharf refurbishment underway.

He says at heart, he’ll always be a Westie.

3 News

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