- Dove-Myer Robinson
Sir Dove-Myer Robinson Statue of Sir Dove-Myer Robinson in Aotea Square, Auckland. 32nd Mayor of Auckland City In office
Preceded by Keith Buttle Succeeded by Roy McElroy In office
Preceded by Roy McElroy Succeeded by Colin Kay Personal details Born 15 June 1901
Died 14 August 1989(aged 88)
Auckland, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealand
He was a colourful character and became affectionately known across New Zealand as "Robbie". He was one of several Jewish mayors of Auckland, although he rejected Judaism as a teenager and became a lifelong atheist. He has been described as a "slight, bespectacled man whose tiny stature was offset by a booming voice and massive ego".
Born Mayer Dove Robinson in Sheffield, England, he was the sixth of seven children of Ida Brown and Moss Robinson. While his father described himself as a master jeweller, he actually sold trinkets and second-hand furniture, and the family was poor and often on the move. Robinson's mother influenced the upbringing of her son by transmitting the strict values her rabbi father had taught her. His Jewish heritage ensured that he was often targeted by anti-semitic violence in the schools he attended. The family moved to New Zealand in 1914, where his father worked as a pawnbroker. Dove-Myer, as he later called himself (ignoring his Robinson family name), found New Zealand agreeable and lacking in the intermittent persecutions he had previously faced.
Robinson entered politics in the late 1940s when he led the opposition to a sewage dumping scheme that would have discharged untreated effluent into the Hauraki Gulf. When elected in 1953 as a councillor, he proposed and eventually realised a scheme to break down the sewage in oxidation ponds ('Robbie's ponds') near the Manukau Harbour. His success in the scheme later on helped him gain his first mayoralty.
Dame Barbara Goodman, former Auckland Mayoress and councillor, is his niece, and spearheaded a campaign for the Auckland City Council to build a statue of him in Aotea Square; the statue was completed in 2002.
Robinson lost the 1965 mayoral election by 1134 votes to Roy McElroy, the Citizens and Ratepayers candidate, but in the next election in 1968, he defeated McElroy by 6000 votes.
Robinson died in Auckland on 14 August 1989.
- ^ a b Robbie's Ponds (from Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Accessed 2008-06-06.)
- ^ Dove-Myer Robinson [with appropriately colourful picture] (from Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Accessed 2008-06-06.)
- ^ a b c Robinson, Dove-Myer (entry in the Dictionary of NZ Biography)
- ^ Statue of Sir Dove-Myer Robinson (from the Auckland City Council website. Accessed 2008-06-06.)
Mayor of Auckland City (first time)
Mayor of Auckland City (second time)
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