Les Mills

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Les Mills
CNZM MBE
Les Mills 1960.jpg
Mills (right) at the 1960 Olympics
36th Mayor of Auckland City
In office
1990–1998
Preceded by Catherine Tizard
Succeeded by Christine Fletcher
Personal details
Born Leslie Roy Mills
(1934-11-01) 1 November 1934 (age 81)
Auckland, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Colleen Maree Mills (d. 2005)
Children Phillip Mills
Donna Mills
Sports career
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Shot put, discus throw
Club Auckland
Sports achievements and titles
Personal best(s) Shot put – 19.80 m (1967)
Discus – 61.52 m (1971)[1][2]

Leslie Roy "Les" Mills CNZM MBE (born 1 November 1934) is a retired New Zealand track and field athlete and politician. He represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games over two decades, competing in the shot put and discus throw. At the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he achieved his best result, a gold medal in the discus.[1]

Mills opened his first gym in 1968[3] and gives his name to Les Mills International, a company founded by his son Phillip Mills.[4] He was Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, from 1990 to 1998.

Athletics career[edit]

Mills trained New Zealand throwers, such as Beatrice Faumuina. His personal best for the shot put was a New Zealand national record for 44 years, until 16-year-old Jacko Gill broke it on 23 April 2011 with a throw of 20.01 m[6]

Mayor of Auckland City[edit]

Mills served as the Mayor of Auckland City between 1990 and 1998.[7] His Mayoral term commenced with a by-election in 1990 after the resignation of Dame Catherine Tizard, who had been appointed Governor-General. The new council had been formed following local body amalgamation in 1989 which saw many of the district borough councils merged into one larger city. Mills' first term oversaw the merger of these many district boroughs into one city. The Aotea Centre was also opened at the beginning of his term. Other initiatives which commenced on Mills' watch as Mayor included the introduction of the green "wheelie bins", metered user charges for water use, council assets like golf courses were leased to private management, and the city also quit some assets that no longer were of priority, like its abattoir.

Other major events during Mills' tenure included work commencing on the America's Cup Village at the Auckland viaduct, the commencement and opening of the Sky Tower and Casino complex that now dominates the Auckland skyline, the redevelopment of the Civic theatre, and refurbishment of the Auckland Town Hall.

During this period, the 1998 Auckland power crisis occurred, which shut down most of the inner city. Mills' Britomart Transport Centre plans also came under some criticism as being too focused on property development and not enough on transport. His successor Christine Fletcher led plans for a scaled down Britomart Station without the large property development plans.

Mills was defeated in a three way contest between himself, businessman Richard Holden and eventual winner Christine Fletcher in 1998. Mills himself was absent for most of the election campaign, leading the New Zealand team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and mentoring the gold medal winning discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Les Mills. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Leslie Mills. trackfield.brinkster.net
  3. ^ Les Mills International: Our History. lesmills.com
  4. ^ "Planet Fitness". Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b New Zealand. sports-reference.com
  6. ^ "Athletics: Jacko's massive throw an absolute thriller". nzherald. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Orsman, Bernard (11 October 2004). "Race is over – now hard work begins". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Catherine Tizard
Mayor of Auckland City
1990–1998
Succeeded by
Christine Fletcher
Awards
Preceded by
Harry Kent
Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee
1971
Succeeded by
Rod Dixon