Peter Chin

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Peter Chin
Peter Chin 2010 Otago Rally.jpg
Peter Chin starting the 2010 Rally of Otago
56th Mayor of Dunedin
In office
Preceded bySukhi Turner
Succeeded byDave Cull
Personal details
Peter Wing Ho Chin

1941 (age 80–81)

Peter Wing Ho Chin, CNZM (Chinese: 陳荣和; pinyin: Chén Rónghé; Jyutping: Can4 Wing4wo4) CNZM (born 1941) is a lawyer and was the 56th Mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand. He served two terms as Mayor from 2004 to 2010.

Chin is a descendant of the earliest Chinese immigrants to New Zealand,[1] and his family owned a take-away establishment in Stuart Street.

Early life and career[edit]

In the 1950s Chin was a student at Otago Boys' High School and then the University of Otago, graduating LLB. He has worked in Dunedin as a lawyer since 1968, and is currently a consultant for the Otago law firm Webb Farry. First elected in 1995 to the Dunedin City Council, representing the Hills Ward, he served three terms before becoming mayor in 2004, replacing Sukhi Turner who was retiring as mayor. He was re-elected in October 2007 with an absolute majority.[2]

Chin serves as the head of the Gambling Commission, the government-appointed panel that regulates casinos. In the 2003 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to local-body and community affairs.[3]

He is the chair of the national Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust, which was set up with government funding in 2004.[1][4] The trust aims to raise awareness of the early Chinese community in New Zealand and its history, language and culture.[4]


Chin played a minor part in the 1987 film Illustrious Energy, a historic drama based on the experiences of Chinese gold miners in Central Otago.[5]


Chin is a strong supporter of the controversial Forsyth Barr Stadium, over which questions have been raised over the cost and source of funding.[6][7] This support almost certainly cost him the election. In the course of examining funding options he sent a confidential letter to the Government asking for money without full Council approval,[8] and was on a committee of three that later censured Councillor Teresa Stevenson for leaking the letter to the Otago Daily Times.[9] Chin chaired the Chinese Gardens Trust which built the Dunedin Chinese Garden, using $3.75 million of New Zealand taxpayers' and $1 million of Dunedin ratepayers' money.[10][11] The Gardens were constructed in an authentic manner, using almost a thousand tonnes of rocks imported from Lake Tai, China.[12]

Post-mayoral career[edit]

During the 2010 Dunedin mayoral election, Peter Chin was defeated by Greater Dunedin candidate and Dunedin City Council councillor Dave Cull.[13] He was one of the twelve members of the Constitutional Advisory Panel, which sought public input on a written constitution for New Zealand,[14] since 2011.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Chin has been married to Noleen since 1964 with whom he had 4 children.[16] he lives in Roslyn and is a prominent operatic singer. Chin suffered a heart attack on New Year's eve, 2014[17] whilst on a plane from Dunedin to Wellington to visit his son. He had a triple bypass and later recovered.


  1. ^ a b Ip, Manying (15 November 2012). "Peter Chin". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Declaration Of Result Of Election" (PDF). Dunedin City Council. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2008.
  3. ^ "New Year honours list 2003". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2002. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust". Department of Internal Affairs. 2014. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Illustrious Energy". IMDb. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  6. ^ Gregor, Kelly (24 August 2009). "Court of Appeal dimisses allegations against Dunedin City Council". National Business Review. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Dunedin stadium plans advance". 3 News. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  8. ^ Price, Mark (29 January 2009). "Questions over secret stadium letter". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  9. ^ Schofield, Edith (6 May 2009). "Stevenson to apologise for leaking information". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 7 May 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
  10. ^ "$200,000 boost for Chinese garden". Otago Daily Times. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  11. ^ "Glimpse at Chinese garden". Otago Daily Times. 28 May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  12. ^ Beattie, J. (ed.) (2008). Lan Yuan: The garden of enlightenment. Dunedin: Dunedin Chinese Garden Trust. p.64
  13. ^ "Cull wins Dunedin mayoralty". Otago Daily Times. 9 October 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  14. ^ "The Panel". Constitutional Advisory Panel. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Constitutional Advisory Panel named". New Zealand Government. 4 August 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Candidate profiles for Mayor and Council wards" (PDF). Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 15 April 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Dunedin
Succeeded by