Every Aucklander of a certain age knows that we should have listened to Mayor Robbie back in the 1970s' - Labour Party MP Phil Twyford. But who was he? And why is he still relevant today? From a working class Jewish boy in Sheffield to long serving Mayor of Auckland (1959-1980), Sir Dove-Myer Robinson's life followed an unusual path. A slight, bespectacled man whose tiny stature was offset by a booming voice and massive ego, he was a natural political campaigner. Associated with a host of local and national causes, he became Auckland's most recognisable spokesperson. He joined political causes and challenged convention. He fought for our current waste water treatment process, against French nuclear testing, and an integrated Auckland transport system and city. Though his political career was outstanding and memorable, his personal life was a hot bed of gossip. Four wives, one 20 years his junior, and a very public divorce during one of his terms meant he was never far from the headlines. In this book we look at both his personal life and his outstanding political career, which affected not only the future of Auckland, but the future of New Zealand.
He and his team are sent to Cairo in 1979 to plan the modernization of Egypt’s phone service. Phone service at that point is bad. Most of the time there is no dial tone. They think their work can be accomplished in about nine months, but Willis Culpepper of USAID tells them “Schedules don’t mean a thang here in Egypt.” They learn that ARENTO wants technology transfer, plus system redesign, so the nine months will stretch to a year or two. Working with the Egyptians, they see the sorry state of the telephone system, first in Cairo, then in Alexandria. Underground cables failed because of water seeping into the insulation. In between they visit Cairo’s Souk, Khan El Khalili, and El Alemein. He takes morning runs beside the Pyramids, sometimes enraging the rabid mongrel desert dogs. Bitten, he requires rabies injections. There are no good maps of the cities. His team consults with USAID, and gets the Air Force to do aerial photography of Cairo, and Alexandria. An accelerated course on ESS is given to six Egyptian engineers, and the planning stage is finished at last. Construction contractors are selected through a formal bidding process, and final construction of the upgrade is completed in 1983. Egypt gets the most modern telephone system at the time, but scam artists are still at work at cut-over.