For his new book, Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey has profiled about 60 of the district's most interesting characters. Backed up by a selection of excellent photographs by Antoine Gasperini, Bob has chosen people from all walks of life. They include rugby legend Michael Jones, fashion designer Karen Walker, potter Len Castle, Judge Mick Brown, singer Jan Hellriegel, winemakers Mate and Michael Brajkovich, writer Sandra Coney, the Lawson quins and Maori leader Pita Sharples. Some surprising entries include singer John Rowles, Sir Edmund Hillary, naturists Les and Laurel Olsen and the exotic Mistress Sabrina. In addition, he looks at some of the great Westie icons (the black T-shirt, the Holden V8), and in his introduction attempts to identify what it means to be a Westie and why the area produces so many extraordinary characters.
Antoine Gasperini was raised in Italy but now lives in West Auckland with his partner. He is one of the region's most impressive young photographers. Westies is his first book. Bob Harvey is the mayor of Waitakere City in West Auckland. A Westie all his life, he has made his mark as a businessman, politician and writer. His previous books about West Auckland, Rolling Thunder and Untamed Coast, were both best-sellers.