Aaron Hawkins is currently serving his first term as Mayor, after two terms as a city councillor.
He grew up in and around Invercargill, before moving to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago in 2002. After graduating with a B.A. in Media, Film and Communications he worked at Radio One 91FM, and as a freelance writer for various print and online publications.
Since first being elected in 2013, Mayor Hawkins has focused on supporting our community’s social and environmental wellbeing, which he sees as a priority. Local government plays a vital role in delivering these, particularly when it comes supporting a just transition to a safer climate future.
He has previously chaired the Community & Culture Committee; Mayor’s Taskforce for Housing; the Dunedin Refugee Steering Group; and the Creative Dunedin Partnership, which helps steer Ara Toi Ōtepoti – An Arts & Culture Strategy for Dunedin.
At a national level, he is a founding member and original co-chair of Local Government New Zealand’s Young Elected Members’ network, and an elected representative on the LGNZ National Council. He also sits on the ICLEI Regional Executive Committee, an international network of cities and sub-national governments working towards a more sustainable future.
Outside of work, he has spent a lot of time within community arts organisations, serving as a former trustee of the Blue Oyster Arts Trust and chair of the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust.
In his spare time, he enjoys going to galleries, listening to records, dancing, watching cricket and playing football with his son.