I have a small confession to make. I wasn’t exactly sure what the word “indefatigable” meant but I felt certain that it should somehow apply to Tim Shadbolt. Thankfully the trusty OED online tells me that it means “unwearied, untiring, unremitting in labour”. Whatever other multi-syllabic adjectives might apply to Tim Shadbolt, certainly he cannot be accused of lethargy or a lack of energy or work ethic.
Now in his sixties, New Zealand’s Mayor-for-hire-of-questionable-dancing-prowess hasn’t slowed at all. On the contrary, he’s currently out and about promoting his latest book and made an
appearance on Sunrise last week, chatting to Oliver and Carly about his writing career. In amongst all the other things for which Shadbolt is famous (concrete mixers, ballroom dancing, that dopey grin, shameless self-promotion etc.) it’s easy to forget that he also writes quite well. But of course he’s got a rather good writer uncle, Maurice Shadbolt, from whom he can glean writing tips and Shadbolt admits that he has indeed benefitted from avuncular authorial advice.
Shadbolt’s first book, the spectacularly titled, Bullshit and jellybeans documents a time in New Zealand history when he was at the centre of the activist movement. In fact he claims he wrote the book while he was in solitary confinement (there not being much else there to occupy his time). In addition to the biographical works, Invercargill’s mayor has also dabbled in poetry. Though I suggest skipping his 1980 book on concrete construction (unless that’s what you’re into, of course).
Regardless of what you think of Shadbolt as a mayor, dancer, or actor even (he was in The world’s fastest Indian) you can’t deny that he’s had a very eventful, entertaining life so those with a taste for the autobiographical might want to get their reserves on for Tim Shadbolt : A Mayor of two cities forthwith.