Les Mills

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Les Mills
36th Mayor of Auckland City
In office
Preceded by Catherine Tizard
Succeeded by Christine Fletcher
Personal details
Born Leslie Roy Mills
(1934-11-01) 1 November 1934 (age 88)
Auckland, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Colleen Maree Mills (d. 2005)
Children Phillip Mills
Donna Mills

Leslie Roy "Les" Mills CNZM MBE (born 1 November 1934) is a former New Zealand track and field athlete and politician. He represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games over two decades, competing in shot put, discus and weightlifting events. At the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he achieved his best result, a gold medal in discus.

Mills opened his first gym in 1968[1] and gives his name to Les Mills International, a company founded by his son Phillip Mills.[2]

He was Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, from 1990 to 1998.

Athletics career

Medal record
Men's Athletics
Representing  New Zealand
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1966 Kingston Discus
Silver medal – second place 1958 Cardiff Discus
Silver medal – second place 1966 Kingston Shot put
Silver medal – second place 1970 Edinburgh Discus
Bronze medal – third place 1970 Edinburgh Shot put

He also has trained New Zealand throwers, such as Beatrice Faumuina.

Personal bests

Event Distance Place Date
Discus 61.52 m 1971
Shot put 19.80 m Honolulu 1967

Mills's personal best for the shot put was a New Zealand national record for 44 years, until 16-year-old Jacko Gill broke it on 23 April 2011 with a throw of 20.01 m[3]

Mayor of Auckland City

Mills served as the Mayor of Auckland City between 1990 and 1998.[4] His Mayoral term commenced with a by-election in 1990 after the resignation of Dame Catherine Tizard, who had been appointed Governor-General. The new council had been formed following local body amalgamation in 1989 which saw many of the district borough councils merged into one larger city. Mills' first term oversaw the merger of these many district boroughs into one city. The Aotea Centre was also opened at the beginning of his term. Other initiatives which commenced on Mills' watch as Mayor included the introduction of the green "wheelie bins", metered user charges for water use, council assets like golf courses were leased to private management, and the city also quit some assets that no longer were of priority, like its abattoir.

Other major events during Mills' tenure included work commencing on the America's Cup Village at the Auckland viaduct, the commencement and opening of the Sky Tower and Casino complex that now dominates the Auckland skyline, the redevelopment of the Civic theatre, and refurbishment of the Auckland Town Hall.

During this period, the 1998 Auckland power crisis occurred, which shut down most of the inner city. Mills' Britomart Transport Centre plans also came under some criticism as being too focused on property development and not enough on transport. His successor Christine Fletcher led plans for a scaled down Britomart Station without the large property development plans.

Mills was defeated in a three way contest between himself, businessman Richard Holden and eventual winner Christine Fletcher in 1998. Mills himself was absent for most of the election campaign, leading the New Zealand team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and mentoring the gold medal winning discus thrower Beatrice Faumuina.


  1. Les Mills International: Our History
  2. "Planet Fitness". Retrieved 28 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Athletics: Jacko's massive throw an absolute thriller". nzherald. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Orsman, Bernard (11 October 2004). "Race is over – now hard work begins". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 20 September 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Catherine Tizard
Mayor of Auckland City
Succeeded by
Christine Fletcher
Preceded by
Harry Kent
Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee
Succeeded by
Rod Dixon

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