Michael became Hamilton's youngest-ever Mayor when he was elected in October 2004 aged 38. Despite having no previous local body experience, Michael united a council to make possible the requisite strategic and innovative decision-making for a fast-developing city.
During his term, he oversaw and articulated a new vision for Hamilton's growth and development. In 2007, he became CEO of Hamilton City Council, implementing the vision he had created as Mayor.
Previously in 1986, Michael established Redman Advertising, which grew to become one of the largest locally owned advertising agencies in NZ before Grey Global Group acquired it in 2000. Michael then led Grey's NZ operations for three years.
In 2003, he co-founded the NZ Breakers basketball team, also becoming the club's founding CEO. Michael is a former Deputy Chairman of Parentline Trust, board member of Northern Districts Cricket Association and Founding Chairman of the Hamilton Combined Foodbanks Trust.
Michael was the inaugural Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, one of the council controlled organizations set up as part of the super city amalgamation and in 2013 was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of The Auckland Blues Rugby team.