Former PM Mike Moore dies at 71


February 02, 2020 - 63 views

Mike Moore, New Zealand's 34th Prime Minister, has died at the age of 71.

Moore was at his home in Auckland when he died early on Sunday morning, his wife Yvonne said.

Moore suffered a stroke in 2015 when he was New Zealand's ambassador in Washington DC and had been in declining health in recent years.

Mrs Moore said her husband had numerous health issues since his stroke.

"Mike was born in Whakatane but grew up in Kawakawa and Moerewa in the Far North and wanted to spend his final months in the place that gave him his drive, spirit and courage," she said.

"Mike wanted to be in Northland one last time so he spent much of summer in Matauri Bay and only came back to Auckland in recent weeks because of his health.

"Northland made him the battler and fighter for ordinary Kiwis he was throughout his life and career and that was what drove him to become a member of the New Zealand Labour Party at 16-years-old. He was stubborn, optimistic, generous and kind."

First elected to the Auckland seat of Eden in 1972, Moore was New Zealand’s youngest MP, aged 23. He held the seat for one term and was defeated in the Rob Muldoon landslide victory in 1975. Soon after, he had the first of his three bouts of cancer.

In 1978, he was elected to the Christchurch seat of Papanui, defeating National Cabinet Minister Bert Walker. He held that seat, which later became Christchurch North and Waimakariri, until his retirement from Parliament in 1999.

In the fourth Labour Government from 1984 to 1990, Mike Moore held the portfolios of Overseas Trade & Marketing, Tourism, Sport & Recreation, America’s Cup, External Relations & Trade, Deputy Finance, and Foreign Affairs.

He was the 11th Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and  became the Prime Minister for 59 days before the October 1990 general election.

Following Labour's defeat in that election, Moore served as Leader of the Opposition until the 1993 election, after which Helen Clark successfully challenged him for the Labour leadership.

Following his retirement from New Zealand politics, Moore was the World Trade Organisation’s third Director General - the highest international role ever held by a New Zealander -  from 1999 to 2002 and oversaw China’s entry into the global rules based trading system. He also launched the Doha Development Round in 2002.

He was appointed New Zealand Ambassador to the United States in 2010 and played a significant role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and enhancing the relationship between the two countries.

Mr Moore’s “School Aid” charity, which is run through his old school Dilworth in Auckland and was created in 2009, has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in development aid to schools in Africa.

In 1999 he was awarded the Order of New Zealand, the nation’s highest honour, and in 2012 was awarded the Order of Australia (honorary officer). He also had five honorary doctorates in commerce, economics and law.

Moore became the Prime Minister for 59 days before the October 1990 general election.

Following Labour's defeat in that election, Moore served as Leader of the Opposition until the 1993 election, after which Helen Clark successfully challenged him for the Labour Party leadership.

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