Obituary: Hugh Aimer

General manager of the Auckland Regional Authority. Died aged 75

Hugh Kenneth Aimer was the second businessman in succession to be appointed general manager of the Auckland Regional Authority, succeeding Fergie Schischka in 1979. He was the authority's fifth general manager.

All of these were appointed from outside the authority's staff, not least because, as one member put it, "we were looking for somebody who had a proven record of having to make a profit".

An Auckland Grammar boy, Aimer gained both bachelor of engineering and bachelor of commerce degrees. After overseas experience he worked for state electric power organisations and in 1952 joined the Wellington Municipal Electricity Department. A successful career in the private sector in the 1960s and 1970s included founding the successful consulting engineering export association, Enex. He was also general manager of the Motor Specialties group.

Early in his time with the regional authority he warned Auckland was in danger of disintegrating into an "ugly and heartless" place made up of pockets of urban settlements. That would happen, he said, if Auckland's then 30 borough and city councils each focused their vision within their own boundaries.

Aimer retired from the authority in 1984, saying he no longer wanted to work a 60-hour week.

His recreation interests included flying and yachting. He is survived by his wife, Joan, three daughters, a son, and 10 grandchildren.

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