Meeting mayor tops list for touring friends

20:18, Jan 09 2014
Meeting Tim
From left, James Squires, Mihiroa Gillies, Geordie Dann, Dan Versteeg and Amy Highton chat with Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, who they were visiting to tick off their bucket list

He's up there with spotting kiwi, swimming with dolphins and eating Ferg Burgers.

    » Editorial: See Tim and die

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, who a group of high school friends have affectionately named T-Bolts, has another claim to fame - making a bucket list.

the five friends are travelling around Southland ticking off activities and sights on their bucket lists, including meeting "T-Bolts" and eating a Ferg Burger.

Road trip organiser Geordie Dann, 27, said he emailed the mayor last week, asking him if he wanted to meet for a beer or coffee, on the off chance he would reply.

The friends, who met at high school and had started going on road trips several years ago, were travelling throughout Southland in a van and could not go past stopping in to say hi to the one and only T-Bolts, he said.

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"It should be on everyone's bucket list."

So, yesterday the group filed into the mayoral chambers to sit down with the famous 67-year-old for coffee and cake.

They discussed everything from the mayor's son, 19-month-old Declan, who also joined the morning tea, to movie-making in the area and even the mayor's family history.

They agreed the meeting was probably going to be a highlight of their week-long adventure in the south.

The Invercargill mayor is now looking to capitalise on the idea of bucket list tourism.

Mr Shadbolt said he often had community groups visit, but to have a group visit because he was on their bucket list, even though he had just started his ninth term as a mayor, was a first.

"I think the bucket list tourism is something we should look at quite seriously."

While he was not sure if the nickname T-Bolts would stick, he hoped it would not be the last time he made someone's bucket list.

The Southland Times