Showing posts from April, 2024

Faddist or Forward-Thinker? Dove-Myer Robinson and Mid - Twentieth Century Health Reform

Image: Auckland City Council. Sir Dove-Myer Robinson. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 580-79140B. Sir Dove-Myer Robinson has been remembered as a visionary environmentalist, who was ahead of his time. Robinson, or ‘Robbie’ as he became known, entered Auckland’s political scene in the 1940s, when he opposed the Brown’s Island plan that would have dumped untreated sewage into the Waitematā Harbour. He was elected to the Auckland City Council in 1953 and later served as Deputy Mayor. In 1959, he took on the role of Mayor of Auckland, and was the longest-serving mayor in the city's history, across two terms from 1959-1965 and 1968-1980.  Known for his charismatic and gregarious personality, Robinson was often seen riding a bicycle around the city or walking from his home in Remuera to the Town Hall shirtless, earning him the title of Auckland’s ‘Topless Mayor’.  Robinson was a strong advocate for urban planning and helped to improve the city’s bus and rail services. His effort