Norman Eric Kirk was a New Zealand politician who served as the 29th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1972 until his sudden death in 1974. Kirk joined the New Zealand Labour Party in 1943, he was mayor of Kaiapoi from 1953 until 1957. He became the leader of his party in 1964. Following a Labour victory in the 1972 election, Kirk became Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, he stressed the need for regional economic development and affirmed New Zealand's solidarity with Australia in adopting a foreign policy more independent of the United States. In 1973, he opposed French nuclear tests in the Pacific, he promoted racial equality at abroad. Kirk had a reputation as the most formidable debater of his time and once famously said that people don't want much, just "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for." Due to his energy and powerful oratory, as well as his untimely death, Kirk remains one of the most popular New Zealand prime ministers. Born in Waimate, a town in South Canterbury, New Zealand, Norman Kirk came from a poor background, his household could not afford things such as daily newspapers or a radio.
Kirk did not perform well at school, left shortly before he turned thirteen. Despite this, however, he enjoyed reading, visited libraries. In particular, he enjoyed the study of geography. After leaving school, Kirk worked in a number of jobs as an assistant roof-painter and as a stationary engine driver, operating boilers in various factories, his health, however and when the New Zealand Army called him up for military service in 1941 it found him medically unfit. After recovering somewhat, he returned holding a number of different jobs. In 1943, Norman Kirk married Lucy Ruth Miller, known as Ruth, born in Taumarunui; the couple had two daughters. In 1975 Ruth Kirk was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1974, while her husband was Prime Minister, she became patron of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, she took part in anti-abortion protest marches in Hamilton. She died on 20 March 2000, aged 77. In 1943, Kirk joined the Labour Party's branch in Kaiapoi, where he and his wife had decided to build a house.
Kirk bought a 1,261 m2 section at 12 Carew Street for just NZ£40. Due to a shortage of funds and building materials following World War II, Kirk built the house himself right down to the casting of the bricks; the house still stands today, albeit with an extension at the back and a hipped corrugated iron roof to replace the original leak-susceptible flat malthoid roof. In 1951, Kirk became Chairman of the party's Hurunui electorate committee. In 1953, Kirk led Labour to a surprising victory in elections for Kaiapoi's local council, he became the youngest mayor in the country at age 30; as mayor, Kirk implemented many changes. He surprised officials by studying issues intensely emerging with better knowledge of his options than the people functioning as his advisors, he resigned as mayor on 15 January 1958 and moved his family to Christchurch after being elected MP for the Lyttelton electorate. In 1954, Kirk stood as the Labour candidate for the Hurunui seat. While he increased Labour's share of the vote he did not win.
In 1957, Kirk won the Lyttelton electorate, reclaiming it for Labour after its surprise loss to the National Party in a previous election. In 1969 he transferred to the Sydenham seat. Throughout his political career, Kirk promoted the welfare state, supporting government spending for housing, health and education; as such, Kirk appeared as a champion for ordinary New Zealanders. His working-class background gave him some advantage, as ordinary voters saw many other politicians as out-of-touch and aloof. Kirk began to rise through Labour's internal hierarchy, becoming vice-president of the Party in 1963 and president in 1964. At the end of 1965 he challenged Arnold Nordmeyer for the parliamentary leadership, becoming Leader of the Opposition. Using the slogan "Make things happen", Kirk led Labour into the 1969 general election — the party did not win a majority, but it did increase both its share of the vote and number of seats to 44.2% and 39. In February 1972 Keith Holyoake was replaced by Jack Marshall.
Not this could blunt Labour’s campaign slogan, "It's Time – Time for a change, time for Labour", on 25 November 1972 Kirk led Labour to victory with a majority of 23 seats. Soon after entering office, Kirk acquired a reputation as a reforming figure; the conservative Dominion newspaper bestowed its ‘Man of the Year’ prize on him for "outstanding personal potential for leadership". A few weeks on 6 February 1973, Kirk was photographed at a Waitangi Day event holding the hand of a small Māori boy. Kirk set a frenetic pace implementing a great number of new policies. In particular, the Kirk government had a far more active foreign policy than its predecessor, taking great trouble to expand New Zealand's links with Asia and Africa. After his election as Prime Minister, Kirk withdrew all New Zealand troops from Vietnam, ending that nation's eight-year involvement in the Vietnam War; the Kirk government abolished Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand.
Sir John Ross Marshall known as Jack Marshall, was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He entered Parliament in 1946 and was first promoted to Cabinet in 1951. After spending twelve years as Deputy Prime Minister, he served as the 28th Prime Minister for most of 1972, he became head of government in February 1972. The Second National Government, in office since 1960, appeared worn-out and out of touch, at the time of Marshall's appointment seemed headed for heavy electoral defeat. After Labour's victory in the November 1972 election, Marshall became Leader of the Opposition, he was determined to remain as leader of the National Party, but in July 1974 was challenged for the leadership by Robert Muldoon, his deputy and successor. Marshall's politeness and courtesy were well known, he was sometimes nicknamed Gentleman Jack, he disliked the aggressive style of some politicians, preferring a calmer, less confrontational approach. These traits were sometimes misinterpreted as weakness by his opponents.
Marshall was a strong believer in common sense and pragmatism, he disliked what he considered populism in other politicians of his day. Marshall was born in Wellington, he grew up in Wellington and Dunedin, attending Whangarei Boys' High School and Otago Boys' High School. He was noted for his ability at sports rugby. After leaving high school, Marshall studied law at Victoria University College, he gained an LL. B. in 1934 and an LL. M. in 1935. He worked part-time in a law office, he wrote a series of children's books called Dr Duffer. In 1941, during World War II, Marshall entered the army, received officer training. In his first few years of service, he was posted to Fiji, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands reaching the rank of major. During this time he spent five months in the United States at a marine staff school in Virginia. On 29 July 1944, while on leave in Perth, Western Australia, Marshall married Jessie Margaret Livingston, a nurse. At the start of 1945, Marshall was assigned to a unit sent to reinforce New Zealand forces in the Middle East.
This unit participated in the battle of the Senio River and the liberation of Trieste. After the war, Marshall established himself as a barrister, but was soon persuaded to stand as the National Party's candidate for the new Wellington seat of Mt Victoria in the 1946 election, he won the seat by 911 votes. He was, nearly disqualified by a technicality – Marshall was employed at the time in a legal case for the government, something which ran afoul of rules barring politicians from giving business to their own firms. However, because Marshall had taken on the case before his election, it was obvious that there had been no wrongdoing; as such, the Prime Minister, Peter Fraser of the Labour Party, amended the regulations. Marshall's political philosophy, well-defined at this stage, was a mixture of liberal and conservative values, he was opposed to laissez-faire capitalism, but was opposed to the redistribution of wealth advocated by socialists – his vision was of a property-owning society under the benign guidance of a fair and just government.
Barry Gustafson states, " was motivated by his Christian faith and by an deep intellectual commitment to the principles of liberalism." In the 1949 election, Marshall kept his seat. The National Party gained enough seats to form a government, Sidney Holland became Prime Minister. Marshall was elevated to Cabinet, taking ministerial responsibility for the State Advances Corporation, he became a direct assistant to Holland. After the 1951 election, Marshall became Minister of Health. In the 1954 election, his Mt Victoria seat was abolished, he stood for another Wellington electorate, Karori. After the election, he lost the Health portfolio, instead becoming Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. In these roles, he supported the retention of the capital punishment for murder. In 1957, he proposed a referendum on capital punishment, he supported the creation of a separate Court of Appeal. When Holland became ill, Marshall was part of the group. Keith Holyoake became Prime Minister. Marshall sought the deputy leadership.
Shortly after the leadership change, National lost the 1957 election to Labour's Walter Nash. Marshall, became deputy leader of the Opposition; the Nash government did not last long, however – its drastic measures to counter an economic crisis proved unpopular. Marshall was to admit that the crisis had been prompted by a failure to act by the National government, although other members of the National Party dispute this assertion. Labour lost the 1960 election, National returned to power. Marshall became Deputy Prime Attorney-General and Minister of Justice again, he took up several new positions, including ministerial responsibility for Industries and Commerce, Overseas Trade and Customs. One of his major achievements was the signing of trade arrangements with Australia and the United Kingdom. Marshall supported the abolition of compulsory union membership, a National Party election policy – when the government decided not to push forward with the change, Marshall's relations with some of his colleagues were strained.
Marshall promoted the retention of capital punishment for murder. However, Labour under Sir Arnold Nordmeyer was opposed, in 1961
David Russell Lange was a New Zealand politician who served as the 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. A lawyer by profession, Lange was first elected to the New Zealand Parliament in the Mangere by-election of 1977, he soon gained a reputation for cutting eloquence. Lange became the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition in 1983, succeeding Bill Rowling; when Prime Minister Robert Muldoon called an election for July 1984 Lange led his party to a landslide victory, becoming, at the age of 41, New Zealand's youngest prime minister of the 20th century. Lange took various measures to deal with the economic problems he had inherited from the previous government; some of the measures he took were controversial. He fulfilled a campaign promise to deny New Zealand's port facilities to nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered vessels, making New Zealand a nuclear-free zone. Lange and his party were re-elected in August 1987, he retired from Parliament in 1996. Prime Minister Helen Clark described New Zealand's nuclear-free legislation as his legacy.
Lange was born on 4 August 1942 in a small industrial borough since absorbed into Auckland. He was the oldest of four children of Roy Lange, a general practitioner and obstetrician and grandson of a German settler, Phoebe Fysh Lange, who trained as a nurse in her native Tasmania before she migrated to New Zealand; the family had lived in New Zealand for so long that the original pronunciation of their surname, lan-ge, "had all but been forgotten". Lange's autobiography suggests that he admired his soft-spoken and dryly humorous father, while his demanding and sometimes overbearing mother tested his tolerance, his cousin Michael Bassett reflected that Roy "knew how to avoid trouble rather than confront it", David developed a similar aversion to conflict. He received his formal education at Fairburn Primary School, Otara Intermediate School and Otahuhu College at the University of Auckland in 1960, where he graduated in law in 1966. Lange held a number of jobs. In the third form he performed a paper-round for the New Zealand Herald in Mangare East, changed from deliver-boy to collecting the money.
The following year he delivered telegrams, before applying to work at the Westfield meat-freezing works in the role that would pay his way through university. The poor work conditions at the freezing works provided an opportunity to identify with the misery of fellow workers, an appreciation for the impact of strikes on ordinary workers. In 1961 he started a job as a law clerk at Haigh and Carthy, a role that had varied work and clients, including the Communist Party. On 13 March 1967 Lange was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand. On 3 August 1968, he married Naomi Crampton, he gained a Master of Laws in 1970 with first-class honours, specialising in criminal law and medico-legal issues. Lange practised law in Northland and Auckland for some years giving legal representation to the most dispossessed members of Auckland society – he assisted the Polynesian Panther Party to disseminate legal rights information and legal aid during the'70s Dawn Raids. Lange suffered all his life from obesity and the health problems it caused.
By 1982 he weighed about 175 kilograms, had surgery to staple his stomach in order to lose weight. He attributed his talents with oratory to the need to compensate for his clumsiness during his intermediate school days. Lange joined the Labour Party in 1963, helped in the campaigns of Phil Amos in 1963 and Norman Douglas in 1966. In 1974 his cousin Michael Bassett suggested that Lange should stand on the Labour ticket for the Auckland City Council; the Council was dominated by conservative interests and the only Labour candidates elected were Jim Anderton and Catherine Tizard. Which was better than I expected." Lange's father Roy, a doctor at Otahuhu, had delivered Bassett. The two would have strong disagreements, prompting Lange to remark, "My father had delivered him, it became plain in days that he must have dropped him."Lange stood for Labour in Hobson in 1975, came third. Lange entered the New Zealand Parliament as the Labour MP for Mangere, a working-class Auckland electorate with a large Māori population, in 1977 in the Mangere by-election.
On becoming an MP, Lange made an impression in the House as a debater, a wit, the scourge of Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. In his maiden speech, he suggested that New Zealand children had fewer rights than animals received under the Animals Protection Act 1960, complained of "appalling" rail service from Auckland to Mangere. In 1980 Lange and a group consisting of Roger Douglas, Michael Bassett, Richard Prebble and Mike Moore tried to remove Bill Rowling as leader of the Labour Party. After Labour lost the 1981 general election, the group known as the "Fish and Chip Brigade" succeeded in their second attempt in 1983. Lange succeeded Rowling as leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party and as Leader of the Opposition on 3 February 1983. Significant debate emerged within the Labour Party on the party's economic direction, following a paper by Roger Douglas to the party's policy council. A compromise was drafted by Geoffrey Palmer, whic
Geoffrey Palmer (politician)
Sir Geoffrey Winston Russell Palmer is a New Zealand lawyer, legal academic, past politician, a member of Parliament from 1979 to 1990. He served as the 33rd Prime Minister of New Zealand for a little over a year, from August 1989 until September 1990, leading the Fourth Labour Government; as Minister of Justice from 1984 to 1989, Palmer was responsible for considerable reforms of the country's legal and constitutional framework, such as the creation of the Constitution Act 1986, New Zealand Bill of Rights, Imperial Laws Application Act, the State Sector Act. He served as president of the New Zealand Law Commission, from 2005 to 2010. Palmer was born in Nelson and attended Nelson Central School, Nelson Intermediate School and Nelson College. At Victoria University of Wellington, he studied both political law, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1965. After working for a time in Wellington, he attended the University of Chicago's law school, gaining a Juris Doctor in 1967.
He taught for a time at the University of Iowa and the University of Virginia, undertook consultancy work for the Australian government. In 1974, he was appointed to a professorship of law at Victoria University of Wellington, bringing him back to New Zealand. At the 1975 general election, Palmer took part in the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign. In a 1979 by-election, Palmer was elected to Parliament as the member for Christchurch Central, having stood as the Labour Party candidate, he became deputy Leader of the Opposition in 1983. When, in 1984, the Labour Party won the general elections, Palmer became Deputy Prime Minister of the Fourth Labour Government, he became Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. The new justice minister, who had promoted proportional representation as a law professor in his book Unbridled Power? published in 1984, set up a Royal Commission to investigate the electoral system and propose modifications or alternatives. His Royal Commission reported in December 1986.
After the 1987 elections, when Labour was re-elected, he became Minister of the Environment, an area in which he took personal interest. The most notable feature of New Zealand politics at the time was the economic change promoted by the Finance Minister, Roger Douglas. Douglas was advancing monetarist policies involving extensive privatisation of state assets and the removal of tariffs and subsidies—these reforms were named "Rogernomics"; these policies, which contravened Labour's basic policy platform and campaign promises, were unpopular with Labour's traditional support base, resulted in a confrontation between Prime Minister David Lange and Roger Douglas. Lange reneged from his promise to hold a binding referendum on the MMP system. Palmer conceded defeat on MMP at an April 1989 Labour regional conference, saying that the issue was "effectively dead for the immediate future." Douglas was removed from Cabinet, but the dispute had weakened Lange enough that he resigned a month later. Palmer, being deputy leader, took over as Prime Minister.
Electoral reformers in the Labour Party kept up the pressure, in September 1989, after Palmer had become prime minister, the full annual conference of the Labour Party passed a remit endorsing a referendum on the principle of proportional representation. Palmer, was perceived by the public as being too involved with Douglas's reforms and academically remote. Of particular concern to many people was his work on the legal aspects of state sector rearrangement, such as his preparation of the State Owned Enterprises Act; the presence of David Caygill as Minister of Finance further compounded perception that Palmer was doing nothing to address public concerns. The only area in which Palmer won praise from traditional left-wing supporters was in his handling of the Environment portfolio, which he kept when he became Prime Minister – it was his work here in initiating the resource management law reform process that led to the creation of the Resource Management Act 1991. Two months before the 1990 elections, it was clear.
The perceived damage done by Roger Douglas's reforms, as well as Palmer's lack of general charisma, caused too many Labour supporters to abandon the party. In addition, Palmer was perceived as being too academic and aloof, reminding people of the paternalistic attitude that Douglas was accused of. Palmer was replaced by Mike Moore. Palmer chose to resign from parliament, was replaced in his seat by Lianne Dalziel; the attempt failed and the opposition National Party under Jim Bolger won a landslide victory. Geoffrey Palmer became the second Labour leader to leave the party leadership without leading the party into an election after Alfred Hindmarsh. Palmer went on to serve as Professor of Law at Victoria University again, he held a position as Professor of Law at the University of Iowa, worked for a time as a law consultant. The MMP system which he had helped promote was adopted in a 1993 referendum. In 1994, he established Chen Palmer & Partners, a specialist public law firm he began with Wellington lawyer Mai Chen.
In September 2001 Palmer became a founding trustee of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and in December 2002 was appointed to be New Zealand's representative to the International Whaling Commission. Palmer continued his involvement with, teaching at Victoria University of Wellington and was engaged as an expert consultant on public and constitutional law issues, his son Matthew Palmer was a prominent legal academic and public servant, has been a
Environment of New Zealand
The environment of New Zealand is characterised by an endemic flora and fauna which has evolved in near isolation from the rest of the world. The main islands of New Zealand span two biomes and subtropical, complicated by large mountainous areas above the tree line. There are numerous smaller islands which extent into the sub antarctic; the prevailing weather systems bring more rain to the west of the country. New Zealand's territorial waters cover a much larger area than its landmass and extend over the continental shelf and abyssal plateau in the South Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea and Southern ocean. Having an isolated and endemic ecosystem far into modernity, the arrival of Polynesians about 1300 AD and later European settlers began to have significant impacts on this system, with the intentional and unintentional introduction of new species and plants which overwhelmed their natural competitors, leading to a significant loss of native ecology and biodiversity in areas such as bird life. Today, most parts of New Zealand are modified by the effects of logging and general human settlement, though large areas have been placed under protection, combined in many cases with efforts to protect or regenerate native ecosystems.
For a small country the geography is varied in both landforms and altitude. New Zealand's landscape ranges from the fiord-like sounds of the southwest to the tropical beaches of the far north; the South Island is dominated by the Southern Alps, the highest peak of, Aoraki / Mount Cook, at 3,724 metres. The tallest peak in the North Island is an active, cone-shaped volcano. Smaller islands include Stewart Island. New Zealand has many natural disturbances to its environment which endemic spices have evolved to tolerate; these include local events with short return times like floods, el nino and fires. Long term events like massive eruptions and glacial maximums has effected the current distribution of species in New Zealand. New Zealand's soils are affected by bedrock, climate and the time it has had to develop, In the central North Island the felsic volcanic rocks is deficient in elements needed by plants. While the rare ultramafic rocks of the South Island are so rich in required elements it is used as fertilizer.
The warmer climate of Northland weathers rock more leading to deeper soils. In Fiordland and similar wet steep environments landslides reduce the time for soil formation; the climate varies from cool temperate in the south and warm temperate in the north, with the exception of the North Island Volcanic Plateau. Rainfall varies from a low of 325 mm in Central Otago to an average of 5-8,000 mm in Fiordland. Most lowland areas have ample rainfall for habitation. In the South Island, the high Southern Alps, which run north–south, cause a marked difference between the west and east coast climates. New Zealand has a wide variety of ecosystems and classification methods for them; the biota of New Zealand is one of the most unusual on Earth, due to its long isolation from other continental landmasses. Its affinities are derived in part from Gondwana, from which it separated 82 million years ago, some modest affinities with New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island, both of which are part of the same continental plate as New Zealand and in part from Australia.
The only terrestrial mammals that were in New Zealand prior to human habitation were three species of bat. A number of marine mammals are found on the coast and waters of New Zealand. Māori and European settlers introduced a wide range of mammals some of which have become serious invasive species. New Zealand has a richly varied flora of imported and native species, the indigenous varieties having developed quite due to the geographic isolation of the country before human migration and plant imports became common. However, the combination of external factors such as climate change and invasive species, as well as increasing agricultural and other human land uses have led to widespread damage. New Zealand's forest ecosystems for example are being considered as the second most endangered of the world, with only 7% of the natural habitat remaining. More a component has been introduced by humans. New Zealand's biodiversity exhibits high levels of endemism, both in its fauna; until the islands had no native terrestrial mammals except for bats, the main component of the fauna being insects and birds.
Its flora is dominated by Gondwanan plants, comprising of forests, most famously the giant kauri. New Zealand has developed a national Biodiversity Action Plan to address conservation of considerable numbers of threatened flora and fauna within New Zealand. Conservationists recognised that threatened bird populations could be saved on offshore islands, once predators were exterminated, bird life flourished again. Around 30 species are listed as endangered; the kiwi, a national symbol, is under threat. A curious bird, it cannot fly, has loose, hair-like feathers and long whiskers, is nocturnal. Native New Zealand forests are broadly divided into temperate and beech forests, introduced pine forests cover a large part of the country. Native deciduous plants are rare, with only 11
Sir Simon William English is a retired New Zealand politician who served as the 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2016 to 2017. He was the leader of the National Party from 2001 to 2003 and 2016 to 2018 serving two terms as Leader of the Opposition. A farmer and public servant before entering politics, English was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1990 as the National Party's candidate in the Wallace electorate, he was elevated to Cabinet in 1996 and in 1999 was made Minister of Finance, although he served for less than a year due to his party's worst loss at the 1999 general election. In October 2001, English replaced Jenny Shipley as the leader of the National Party, he led the party to its worst defeat in the 2002 general election, as a consequence, in October 2003 he was replaced as leader by Don Brash. In November 2006, after Brash's resignation, English became deputy leader under John Key. After National's victory at the 2008 general election, he became Deputy Prime Minister and was made Minister for Finance for the second time.
Under English's direction New Zealand's economy maintained steady growth during National's three terms of government. He became a list-only MP after stepping down as an electorate MP at the 2014 general election. John Key resigned as leader of the National Party and prime minister in December 2016. English won the resulting leadership election unopposed and was sworn in as prime minister on 12 December 2016. In the 2017 general election, National fell short of a majority; the parties holding the balance of power declined to support the existing government, English was subsequently replaced as prime minister by Jacinda Ardern, leader of the Labour Party. English continued on as Leader of the Opposition, but resigned as leader of the National Party on 27 February 2018 and left parliament two weeks later. English is the second-youngest of twelve children of Norah English, his parents purchased Rosedale, a mixed sheep and cropping farm in Dipton, Southland from Mervyn's uncle, Vincent English, a bachelor, in 1944.
English was born in the nearby town of Lumsden. English attended St Thomas's School in Winton boarded at St. Patrick's College in Upper Hutt, where he became head boy, he played in the first XV of the school's rugby team. English went on to study commerce at the University of Otago, where he was a resident at Selwyn College, completed an honours degree in English literature at Victoria University of Wellington. After finishing his studies, English farmed for a few years. From 1987 to 1989, he worked in Wellington as a policy analyst for the New Zealand Treasury, at a time when the free market policies favoured by Labour's finance minister Roger Douglas were being implemented. English joined the National Party in 1980, he served for a period as chairman of the Southland branch of the Young Nationals, became a member of the Wallace electorate committee. After moving to Wellington, he served for periods on the Island Bay and Miramar electorate committees, respectively. At the 1990 general election, English stood as the National candidate in Wallace, replacing the retiring Derek Angus, was elected with a large majority.
He and three other newly elected National MPs were soon identified as rising stars in New Zealand politics, at various points were dubbed the "brat pack", the "gang of four", the "Young Turks". In his first term in parliament, English chaired a select committee into social services, he was made a parliamentary under-secretary in 1993. In early 1996, English was elevated to cabinet by Prime Minister Jim Bolger, becoming the Minister for Crown Health Enterprises and Associate Minister of Education, he was 34 at the time. After the 1996 general election, the National Party was forced into a coalition with New Zealand First to retain government. In the resulting cabinet reshuffle, English emerged as Minister of Health. However, as a condition of the coalition agreement, NZ First's Neil Kirton was made Associate Minister of Health becoming English's deputy; this arrangement was described in the press as a "shotgun marriage", there were frequent differences of opinion between the two ministers. After their relationship became unworkable, Kirton was sacked from the role in August 1997, with the agreement of NZ First leader Winston Peters.
As Minister of Health, English was responsible for continuing the reforms to the public health system that National had begun after the 1990 general election. The reforms were unpopular, health was perceived as one of the government's weaknesses, with the health portfolio being viewed as a challenge. English believed that the unpopularity of the reforms was in part due to a failure in messaging, encouraged his National colleagues to avoid bureaucratic and money-focused language and instead talk about the improvements to services the government's reforms would bring, he rejected the idea that public hospitals could be run as commercial enterprises, a view which some of his colleagues had promoted. By early 1997, as dissatisfaction with Bolger's leadership began to grow, English was being touted as a potential successor, along with Jenny Shipley and Doug Graham, his age was viewed as the main impediment to a successful leadership run. National's leadership troubles were resolved in December 1997, when Bolger resigned and Shipley was elected to the le
David Parker (New Zealand politician)
David William Parker is a New Zealand politician, a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and a list MP. He was interim leader of the Labour Party from September to November 2014, he serves as Attorney-General, Minister of Economic Development, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Trade and Export Growth in the Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand, has served as interim leader of the Labour Party, deputy leader of the Labour Party, a Minister in the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand. David Parker grew up in Dunedin, he attended the University of Otago, studying law and business, co-founded the Dunedin Community Law Centre. Before entering politics, Parker worked as a litigation partner in the law firm Anderson Lloyd Caudwell, he had a business career in the agri-biotechnology field, including with Blis Technologies, where he was a manager. Parker first gained election to Parliament as a Labour member in the 2002 elections, winning an upset victory over National's Gavan Herlihy in the Otago seat.
In the 2005 elections the National candidate Jacqui Dean defeated him in his Otago electorate seat, but he returned to the House due to his position on the Labour list. In the 2008 general election Parker and Dean both stood in the resurrected Waitaki electorate, with Dean winning by over 11,000 votes. Due to his list position he was still returned to parliament. In the 2011 election, Parker stood in the Epsom electorate, where he came third behind ACT New Zealand's John Banks and National's Paul Goldsmith, but was again returned as a list MP. In the 2014 election, Parker was number two on the Labour list. During the Fifth Labour Government, Parker served as Attorney-General and Minister of Transport and Energy from 2005 until March 2006, he resigned his position as Attorney-General on 20 March 2006 after an allegation that he had filed an incorrect declaration with the Companies Office on behalf of the property company Queens Park Mews Limited. On 21 March Parker resigned his place in Cabinet as Minister of Energy, Minister of Transport, Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues.
An inquiry by the Companies Office cleared him of the charge of filing false returns. Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, re-appointed Parker to the Energy and Climate Change portfolios and to the Land Information portfolio on 2 May 2006. In July 2007 Clark appointed Parker as the acting Minister for the Environment following the resignation of David Benson-Pope. Following Labour's defeat in the 2008 general election, Parker became the Opposition spokesperson on Conservation, ACC and Shadow Attorney-General. On 15 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff appointed Parker to be Portfolio Spokesperson for Economic Development, a position held by Shane Jones, shifted the portfolio of Conservation to Chris Carter. Parker ran for the party leadership in 2011, but withdrew part-way through the contest to support David Shearer's bid. Parker became the Labour spokesperson for Finance and the shadow Attorney-General. From 17 September 2013, Parker was the deputy leader of the Labour Party, he retained his finance portfolio.
Following the poor performance of the Labour Party in the 2014 general election, the eventual resignation of David Cunliffe as leader, Parker was appointed interim leader of the Labour Party. He unsuccessfully ran in the 2014 Labour Party leadership election and he came third in the leadership election behind Andrew Little and Grant Robertson. Following the 2017 general election, Parker was given the portfolios of Attorney-General, Economic Development, the Environment, Trade and Export Growth, he became Associate Minister of Finance. Official website MP biography