Hamilton Mayor Andrew King buys riverside home

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King at his new family home.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King at his new family home.

Being Hamilton mayor was never part of Andrew King's plan.

Now he's got the chains around his neck, and a new, expansive riverside property in the central city.

The Liverpool Street property has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and river views, according to the Bayleys listing.

King doesn't want to say what he paid but property records show a rateable value $1.37m back in September 2015.

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The mayor doesn't come from money and this is a contrast with places he and his family inhabited through the years. He had other priorities for his money.

The Liverpool Street home gets the sun all day, King says, and he'll be able to walk to work.
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The Liverpool Street home gets the sun all day, King says, and he'll be able to walk to work.

"They were budget. 1970s fibrolite houses," he said.

"People would come around for barbecues and feel a bit sorry for us, I think, because we lived in a rented house. But in fact we had commercial property."

King lists some pragmatic reasons for picking his new place.

It overlooks the river, it gets the sun all day, "and I can walk to work".

"It's a reasonably modest house and I like that. It's old, It's 110 years old... It's not really flash. But it's nice. It's really nice. But it's not flamboyant ... It's practical and it's probably a house that will really suit me as mayor. And it will be lovely for my wife as well to have a nice, grand house."

King was always determined to be financially stable and never doubted he'd get there.

King got onto Hamilton City Council in 2013 and became mayor in 2016. He's pictured at his current home in the outskirts ...
DOMINICO ZAPATA/FAIRFAX NZ

King got onto Hamilton City Council in 2013 and became mayor in 2016. He's pictured at his current home in the outskirts of Dinsdale.

"Being the mayor wasn't part of the plan."

Frustration drove him to stand for council - he started his first term in 2013 - and then mayor.

Wind back to 1977 and he was an apprentice in combustion engine reconditioning, having left Hamilton Boys' High before School C results came out.

When they did he found he'd passed five subjects, some with marks in the high 70s.

"That was a defining moment in my life, I guess, where I realised that I had at least average or better... than average intelligence."

He completed his first apprenticeship then qualified as an electrician and worked for himself.

He'd work from 6am to after dark, six days a week.

"I knew that I had to set aside some years of my life to build up capital because no-one in my family had money to help."

'It's really nice, it's grand. But it's not flamboyant,' King says of the five-bedroom Liverpool Street house.
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'It's really nice, it's grand. But it's not flamboyant,' King says of the five-bedroom Liverpool Street house.

His three kids didn't get his full attention when they were little, he said, but his wife Anne did a great job.

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He had a three-year stint in London, working in building maintenance and saving hard.

Back in New Zealand the early 90s, he invested in commercial property in industrial areas of Hamilton and Auckland.

The house is 110 years old, King said.
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The house is 110 years old, King said.

The next progression was Kings Cars, about 15 years ago, a stepping stone to Kings Finance.

The Kings' influence expands beyond the corporate and political.

Andrew and Anne have provided respite care for children under Child, Youth and Family care, and temporarily taken in people who need some stability.

Anne runs a children's home in Odisha, India.

"I always think if every family who was stable could adopt a family that was struggling, you would change the world," King said.

Speaking of change, does the new house mean he'll feel a sharper sting if rates go up, as he's said they should?

"Yeah."

The Kings are also keeping their current property, a modest Huntly brick house in the outskirts of Dinsdale.

 - Stuff

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