Airport terminal to be named after Sir Tim

There has been a push from some Queenstown and Wanaka residents for air traffic to be shared with...
Photo: ODT files
Invercargill city councillors have agreed Sir Tim Shadbolt’s smiling face will be the one greeting visitors at the city’s airport terminal from now on.

Councillors voted 11-1 to rename the terminal to honour Invercargill’s former long-standing mayor.

The proposed design included a plaque outlining his service to the city as well as a large image placed on the wall next to the check-in area with Sir Tim dressed in full mayoral regalia.

Multiple ideas had been floated about how to honour his service during his nine terms as the city’s mayor, including renaming the airport Sir Tim Shadbolt Airport or renaming Airport Ave as Sir Tim Shadbolt Ave.

Mayor Nobby Clark said there had been some debate in the past on how the city should acknowledge Sir Tim’s service.

Sir Tim Shadbolt
Sir Tim Shadbolt
"We’ve got some original acceptance by the family that this was an appropriate gesture."

Other Sir Tim supporters had also confirmed they believed the terminal naming was more appropriate than naming the airport after him.

Invercargill City Holdings general manager Andrew Cameron said Sir Tim’s past advocacy to redevelop the new airport terminal had added weight to the decision.

The council, through Invercargill City Holdings Ltd, holds 97.47% of the shares in the airport company.

Sir Tim was a director of the airport company from 2013-19 and during his tenure there was a significant runway extension in 2003, making it the third-longest civilian runway in New Zealand, and the new terminal development, which was completed in 2016.

In 2018 Air New Zealand started a jet service from Invercargill to Auckland, its longest domestic flight, reflecting the importance of the airport as a gateway to Southland and a continuation of Sir Tim’s promotion of Invercargill.

It would not be the first time a city landmark had been named after a former mayor.

Wachner Pl was named after Abraham Wachner who served the city from 1942-50.

The city’s library also carries the name of former mayor Eve Poole, who served from 1983-92.

Sir Tim was first elected in 1993 after a landslide by-election win after Mrs Poole died while still in office.

By Toni McDonald