Scandal ripped away his role in the public eye - now Alasdair Thompson is seeking to return via the October elections.
Since his highly publicised fall from grace, says Thompson, he has become a Christian and boned up on feminist theory.
Just over two years ago, Thompson, 66, was sacked as Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive after attributing gender pay in part to some women having "sick problems" once a month and taking time off, reducing their productivity.
Thompson this week told the Herald on Sunday he's written a book, called Life Changing, which is due out in October; become a business consultant; chaired a trust which helps young people into jobs; and travelled extensively through Europe and North America.
He's also completed an Alpha Course on Christianity and read books on theology.
"I have become a Christian after mostly being uninterested in religion and probably pretty much a sceptical agnostic," he said.
He has enlisted with Volunteer Service Abroad but will pull out if elected to the Auckland District Health Board.
He has been reading feminist literature too, something he wishes he had done years ago.
"I developed an intense interest in the subject in the process of researching issues like the gender pay gap for my book."
He regretted losing his cool with Campbell Live reporter Mihingarangi Forbes but said he had no animosity towards anyone in media. "The thing is, it was my behaviour that brought me down."
He was Mayor of Thames-Coromandel from 1989-98 and commissioner of Waikato health board from 1994-96.