Auckland mayor Phil Goff says he could have died after suffering a heart attack that led to him being hospitalised on Saturday.
Mr Goff said one of his arteries became completely blocked and his main artery 75 per cent blocked.
"If the blockage had of occurred in the other [main] artery, it could have been fatal," he told, NZ Herald.
Mr Goff says there's is a family history of heart disease.
The genetic problem claimed the life of his older brother, who died from a heart attack in 2007, and that of his great-great grandmother, who died from a heart attack at 56.
"I told her [his wife, Mary] I might go to a meeting and she ripped me to shreds, telling me 'I'm taking you home and you are staying there for the rest of the week'," Goff said before he was discharged from Middlemore Hospital yesterday afternoon.
The mayor began feeling unwell after touching down in Auckland Airport last Thursday morning after spending three days on business in Hong Kong.
The following day, Mr Goff said he had some indigestion and minor pressure on his chest.
By Saturday, after suffering persisting headaches, the 64-year-old was put in an ambulance by doctors and, one hour later, he was operated on at Auckland City Hospital.
After having two angioplasty surgeries, Mr Goff said he felt "back to normal and, in fact, will be better than normal in a couple of weeks".