Sir Bob Harvey spills the beans
Sir Bob Harvey has for most of his life lived in the public eye.
But some facts have remained unknown about the former Waitakere mayor – until now.
His biography to be released today, Wild Westie: The Incredible Life of Bob Harvey reveals he was adopted at just 6 months old, a truth he did not discover until 1990 when he was 50.
‘‘I was lucky to have two sets of parents,’’ he says.
The Karekare lifeguard served as the mayor of Waitakere city between 1992 and 2010 and created brands for hundreds of companies during his career in advertising.
He is credited with naming TV One and Starship Hospital.
‘‘The book is about my political and advertising life and the creation of modern election campaigns,’’ Sir Bob says.
‘‘I feel like a bit like Forrest Gump where I have been around for some of New Zealand’s important political history over the last 50 years.’’
The book is written by for- mer journalist Hazel Phillips, who throws in one extraordinary fact after another about Sir Bob.
Phillips also illustrates the many sides of him – not only a legend of the advertising world and savvy political strategist, but also an outspoken environmentalist and daring adventurer.
The book includes details of a few of Sir Bob’s ‘‘scraps’’, which he says he has no problem sharing because it was not always easy to get things through the council.
Sir Bob became a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to local body affairs and the community in the 2013 new year honours list.
He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 44 years and they have six children and eight grandchildren.
‘‘I think it’s best to work on a book while you’re still alive, and it stops people getting it wrong when you’re dead,’’ he says.
Big read: Sir Bob Harvey’s book came out recently.