Retiring Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman has been awarded Hamilton’s highest civic honour for his contribution to the city for nearly 40 years.
He has been granted Freedom of the City by his peers at the last Council meeting of the current term.
Mayor Julie Hardaker said it was a fitting tribute for someone who has made a significant and sustained contribution to Hamilton through his involvement in Council, health, education and through his business and community work.
Gordon was elected as an East Ward councillor in 2004 and appointed Deputy Mayor in 2010. He chaired the Events Sponsorship Committee, Heritage Advisory Panel and the WW1 Commemorative Committee as well as being a member of many committees, sub committees, working groups and advisory panels during his time on Council.
He has also helped forge greater links between Council and Waikato Tainui, holding the role of Iwi Liaison for the past six years and serving on the co-governance committee with Waikato Tainui. He was responsible for the recent awarding of Freedom of the City to the Maaori King, Tuheitia.
Gordon was an elected member of the Waikato District Health Board from 2004-2010 and chaired the Community and Public Health Advisory Committee. He was also deputy chair of the DHB’s Audit and Risk Committee.
He was appointed chair of the Wintec Council by the Government in 2001 and held that position until his retirement in 2012; overseeing a $100 million campus redevelopment including the Rotokauri campus.
Since 1986 he has had a close involvement with the University of Waikato, sponsoring the major prize in the Department of Management Studies for the past 15 years. He has been a guest lecturer at the university and supported the development of the first MBA programme.
A former director of Campus Services Ltd, he has been a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Management since 2014 and has been on various university review panels including the Language Institute review.
Gordon has been involved with Waikato Tainui for more than 27 years in various roles including four years as a Trustee of Radio Tainui, member of the Tainui Cultural Committee and a foundation Trustee of the Waikato Tainui College for Research and Development, which established the first Maaori focused MBA programme.
The Deputy Mayor has had a long involvement in the public relations industry, with his company, The Chesterman Group, winning multiple awards in public relations, advertising and direct marketing. A life member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) he served as president of PRINZ and been the chief judge for the annual excellence awards. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2006 for services to the community.