Sir Tim Shadbolt

Knight of the Realm, Mayor, JP, author, actor, Marriage Celebrant, Professional Dancer, Scooter Extraordinaire and all-round Kiwi Bloke


Having won, in total, 12 Local Government elections in two cities, Tim Shadbolt is New Zealand’s longest serving Mayor.  First serving as Mayor of Waitemata City from 1983 to 1989, and then Mayor of Invercargill from 1993 to 1995 and 1998 to the current day. He first came to prominence as a radical student leader in the 1960’s as a member of Auckland University Society for the Active Prevention of Cruelty to Politically Apathetic Humans and an executive life member of the Auckland University Student Association; he took a year off from his studies to work on the Manapouri Power Project in 1966 which led him to form close connections to Invercargill. A concrete contractor, by trade, he won grassroots support by famously towing his concrete mixer behind the Mayoral Daimler while Mayor of Waitemata City.  Tim was a leading figure in the key protests of the 60s and 70s – a Pirate Radio, Vietnam, French Nuclear Tests, the Maori Land March, and Springbok Tours. He has served two prison sentences, been arrested 33 times and spent five years in Periodic Detention centres all being convictions for political activism.  Tim’s first television appearance was as a very young radical against formidable debater and Minister of Finance, Robert Muldoon, with a young Brian Edwards as moderator.

Tim was one of the first kiwi celebrities to share his dancing prowess on the very first series of Dancing with the Stars, a television competition which he almost won by public vote.

In 2012 he broke the record for the World’s Longest Television Interview talking non-stop for 26 hours and 4 seconds. Tim tours the country with humourist and social commentator Gary McCormick and is a passionate supporter of the NZ film industry.  He has acted in many New Zealand films: Utu; The World’s Fastest Indian with Award winner Anthony Hopkins; Two Little Boys with Oscar winner Brett McKenzie and celebrity radio host Hamish Blake; and Pork Pie.  Tim has also written two best-selling autobiographies, many books of poetry, writes regular newspaper columns and has contributed to countless magazines and online articles over the decades.  He has appeared in numerous television programs over the last 45 years. Tim is a favourite special guest on TV Three’s ‘ 7 Days’ and ‘Jono and Ben’.  Most recently he has come to international attention on YouTube by using his scooter to propel himself to the dairy for milk, dressed in corporate attire, with almost a million people liking his mode of transport.

Tim's strength lies in his sense of humour, his massive political experience and his solid grounding in all things Kiwi. He has the most recognisable smile and voice in the land and is currently serving his eighth term as Mayor of Invercargill City Council.

In April 2019 Tim Shadbolt received his Knighthood from the Governor General.