I grew up in a state house in Invercargill with my mum and two brothers. Like many solo parent families we lived a pretty frugal existence, but we worked hard to make ends meet.
I was fortunate to receive an AFS financial hardship scholarship in 1996 and spent my seventh form year in a small German village near Berlin.
The experience opened my eyes, reinforced my sense of pride for New Zealand and allowed me to recognise we live in a unique, fair and inclusive country that is rightfully the envy of many.
I'd like to keep it that way.
I first visited Wellington on a provincial football trip when I was a kid. I fell in love with it immediately. Wellington's sky-scrapers, the hustle and bustle and the cultural flair left an indelible impression and made me want to move here as soon as I could.
After travelling overseas, my wife Liz and I chose to move to Wellington and raise our family here. We believe it’s New Zealand's most cosmopolitan, inclusive, diverse and liveable city.
I love Wellington and will do everything I can to make it the best little city in the world.
I completed an LLB and BA (German) at the University of Otago and a Masters of Laws (LLM) at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Morning paper rounds and supporting myself financially from an early age cultivated a keen sense of entrepreneurialism that continues today. In my mid-twenties I co-founded Kapai, a Wellington food enterprise. The values behind Kapai reflected my own: a distinctly New Zealand theme; founding and growing an idea into a successful enterprise; providing healthy eating options; sustainable operations; and contributing back to the local Wellington economy and community.
Setting up my own business proved to me that good ideas require an equal measure of application and determination to succeed. Kapai was always run along ethical lines with strong values.
I ran for Wellington City Council in 2010 because I wanted to help serve my local community. I continue to do that today as Mayor and am fortunate to have what I believe is the best job in the world.
I met my wife Liz at University. We married in 2006 have two daughters. We live in Johnsonville and being a dad to two great kids will always be my proudest achievement.