8 Sep 2008

Former mayor Sir Hamish Hay dies

4:22 pm on 8 September 2008

Former Christchurch Mayor Sir Hamish Hay has died. He was 80.

Sir Hamish was Christchurch's longest-serving mayor, serving five terms from 1974 to 1989, when he stepped down.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says Sir Hamish was a great leader and a fine gentleman, who will always be remembered as a great city father.

Sir Hamish was first elected to the Christchurch City Council in 1959.

As chairman of the Christchurch Town Hall Board, he supervised the construction of the Christchurch Town Hall, where one of the theatres, the Sir James Hay Theatre, is named after his father.

He was later appointed chairman of the Museum of New Zealand Board, which oversaw the building of Te Papa in Wellington.

He is survived by his wife, Judith, and their five children.

Sir Hamish came from one of New Zealand's most honoured families.

His father, Sir James, founded the Hays department store. His twin brother, Sir David Hay, was knighted for services to medicine and health.

His older sister, Dame Margaret (Laurie) Salas, received recognition for work for the United Nations and for the women's and peace movements.