Shadbolt spurns burnout concerns

Shadbolt dressed as Henry V for Shakespeare in the Park. Photo by Hamish McNeilly.
Shadbolt dressed as Henry V for Shakespeare in the Park. Photo by Hamish McNeilly.
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has vowed the ‘‘show must go on'' despite being asked to take a break by council staff, concerned he might be burning out.

Speaking from a hotel in Wellington, Mr Shadbolt admitted he would love time off, ‘‘but my diary is booked for the next six months'' and he would honour his commitments.

He confirmed he had been asked by staff to take a break, but shrugged off concerns about his busy schedule.

Mr Shadbolt, who celebrated his 61st birthday earlier this week, said being mayor took ‘‘10 years off of your life'' but was worth it because he loved the job.

‘‘I want to do it until I am 70, and then write the great New Zealand novel,'' he said.

Part of the reason for his stress was that, after serving as mayor for 14 years, he was now working with ‘‘a very different council''.

‘‘Council is all about getting the right chemical mix . . . boy is she a volatile mix this time around. Every issue will be intensely fought.''

Several senior Invercargill city councillors decided not to run in last year's local body elections and Mr Shadbolt said some ‘‘young buck'' councillors were straining relationships within council.

While council initially supported the mayor when he opposed funding cuts to the Southern Institute of Technology, it baulked when he pledged to ‘‘bring down the Government''.

Councillor Lindsay Abbott last month tabled a motion barring Mr Shadbolt from using council's funds for the campaign.

Several Invercargill councillors said they were concerned by the mayor's workload, worried that his campaign against the Government had taken its toll.

One said Mr Shadbolt had caused a stir earlier this week when he appeared at a sister-city function dressed as Henry V, much to the surprise of the Japanese guests.

Mr Shadbolt laughed off suggestions it was a sign of impending madness and said he was merely running late from his and came dressed as the character he played.

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