Some of my political opponents and their financial supporters have raised my historical fraud convictions as an important issue going into the mayoral election.
I am extremely proud of Kiwi Air and what we achieved. That said, I'm the first to acknowledge my mistake in signing four documents in 1995 that led to the convictions. I let down my wife, my family, my staff and the public. However, I do not subscribe to the view that this mistake defines who I am or who I could be.
Every single day in everything I do, I use this life lesson to continually be and become a better person. This means making better decisions. The decisions I made as a young man are very different to the ones I make today.
My family and I have been recently challenged again as I fought cancer and I can assure you the person I am today has yet again evolved significantly as a result.
My question back to you is simply this: As a person who has made a mistake, does that mean I stop evolving and making a worthwhile contribution to society? I would say, emphatically, no.
Some 18 years later, I'm running for the mayoralty of the great city of Hamilton and I offer an entrepreneurial vision for the future crafted on a number of hard-earned life lessons.
My opponents would have you discard me based on a historical error in judgment. I would rather people focus on the now and the future of Hamilton.
Having learnt my lessons from the past, I would prefer to hold them to debating the key issues - issues that are important to Hamilton citizens, such as no water meters and a more inclusive leadership style.
I ask you to judge me on the person I am today, not a mistake I made 18 years ago.
Hamilton City councillor and mayoral candidate
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