Ewan Wilson announces retirement from city politics, fires shots at opponents

Ewan Wilson will be spending more time on his airline after he retires from city politics after 15 years.
MARK TAYLOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Ewan Wilson will be spending more time on his airline after he retires from city politics after 15 years.

Ewan Wilson has taken himself out of the running for the next Hamilton City Council election and will put more of his time into his airline.

The 15 year veteran of local body politics said it was time to retire and focus on his business.

"Over the last 15 years, it's been wonderful but it's time for a change and it's time to give other people an opportunity to fill the seat," said Wilson.

"I'm currently absolutely focussed on both Kiwi Regional and my health board and council obligations and post-October I'll continue to focus on aviation."

READ MORE:
*Sitting councillor invests in Kiwi Regional Airlines
*Deputy mayor calls for city councillor's head

Wilson announced his retirement on his Facebook page in a convoluted message that started with his desire for a new mayor when voters go to the polls in October.

About 400 words later, and after a few more shots fired, he said he would not stand for re-election.

There was "no secret" he wanted a new mayor for Hamilton, he said.

"I tried three years ago, I gave it my best shot, got close but clearly I wasn't good enough and the people of Hamilton weren't ready for me," he said.

He also took a pot shot at letter-writing council candidates who looked for political advantage in an election year.

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He described them as "self-serving rant[s]".

"They write nasty, non-constructive letters about how poor somebody else's performance is and not actually telling the people what they could do which is different," he said.

Wilson came under fire for splitting his time between city council and Kiwi Regional Airline where he is the chief executive.

In May 2015, Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman said Wilson's civic responsibilities were being hampered and called for his head.

"Being a city councillor in Hamilton is not a full time job," said Wilson.

Hamilton needs diverse leadership in the halls of power, he said and he hoped for a cross section of the community represented after polling day.

They would need to be able to work with people they might not always agree with.

"It's one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.

"Announce your intention early. Knock on a lot of doors and don't spend time trying to critique or criticise others."

 - Stuff

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