Tributes flow for former Hamilton mayor

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate has paid tribute to former Hamilton Mayor and Freedom of the City holder, David Braithwaite, who died last week.

Mr Braithwaite was a Hamilton City Councillor from 1991 to 1998 and during that period chaired the operations, financial management and strategic and policy co-ordination committees.

He was elected Mayor of Hamilton from 2001 – 2004, a role which had been held by his father Rod Braithwaite from 1953 – 1959.

His mother Kathleen Braithwaite was also elected to Hamilton City Council, serving from 1962-1974. She was Deputy Mayor from 1968-1971.

In the 1950s, David Braithwaite assisted his father in the establishment of the then Waikato Savings Bank. That evolved into Trust Waikato of which he was founding Chairman.

In the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Mr Braithwaite was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the Trustbank organisation and the community. He was awarded Freedom of the City in 2018.

Mayor Southgate recognised Mr Braithwaite’s considerable leadership said it was a privilege to now lead the city he had contributed so much to during his lifetime.

“Trust Waikato alone has, and continues to have, a very positive impact on our city. But David had many other strong community service ties alongside a number of business and commercial interests,” Mayor Southgate said.

“Through his property development activities, he activated projects like Centreplace in Hamilton and was influential in  the development of FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park. Those are big legacy projects which have had a profound impact on our city.”

The Braithwaite family had also made a very significant contribution to Hamilton Gardens, she said.

“That alone is a wonderful legacy and Elected Members and staff at Hamilton City Council send our very sincere condolences to David’s family.”

Long-term Hamilton City Councillor Martin Gallagher, who worked alongside Mayor Braithwaite as a Member of Parliament said the Braithwaite family had a proud history of stoic public service.

“The Braithwaite family, starting with David’s father Rod as Mayor and his mother Kathleen as Deputy Mayor have made a great contribution to the evolution and growth of our city. David proudly continued this tradition of service and philanthropic giving,” Councillor Gallagher said.

Mayor Southgate confirmed Council would fly its flag at half-mast on the day of Mr Braithwaite’s funeral.