Mike Moore (New Zealand Politician)
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Mike Moore New Zealand Politician

Mike Moore

Mike Moore.jpg
Moore, c. 2007
34th Prime Minister of New Zealand

4 September 1990 - 2 November 1990
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralPaul Reeves
DeputyHelen Clark
Geoffrey Palmer
Jim Bolger
3rd Director-General of the World Trade Organization

1 September 1999 - 1 September 2002
Renato Ruggiero
Supachai Panitchpakdi
26th Leader of the Opposition

2 November 1990 - 1 December 1993
Jim Bolger
Helen Clark
11th Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party

4 September 1990 - 1 December 1993
DeputyHelen Clark
Geoffrey Palmer
Helen Clark
10th Minister of Foreign Affairs

9 February 1990 - 2 November 1990
Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
Russell Marshall
Don McKinnon
5th Minister of Overseas Trade

26 July 1984 - 2 November 1990
David Lange
Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
Warren Cooper
Don McKinnon
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Papanui

25 November 1978 - 14 July 1984
Bert Walker
Constituency abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch North

14 July 1984 - 12 October 1996
New constituency
Constituency abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Waimakariri

12 October 1996 - 31 August 1999
New constituency
Clayton Cosgrove
Personal details
Michael Kenneth Moore

(1949-01-28)28 January 1949
Whakatane, New Zealand
Died2 February 2020(2020-02-02) (aged 71)
Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Yvonne Dereany
(m. 1975)

Michael Kenneth Moore [1] (28 January 1949 - 2 February 2020) was a New Zealand politician, union organiser, and author. In the Fourth Labour Government he served in several portfolios including Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was Prime Minister for 59 days before the 1990 general election elected a new parliament.[2] 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.

Following his retirement from New Zealand politics, Moore was Director-General of the World Trade Organization from 1999 to 2002. He also held the post of New Zealand Ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2015.

Early life

Moore was born in 1949 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, the son of Audrey Evelyn (née Goodall) and Alan Moore.[3] He was raised in Moerewa and while aged only two his mother pushed him around town in a pram which concealed Labour Party leaflets, which had been made illegal under the emergency powers enacted during the 1951 waterfront dispute.[4] His father died when he was five years old after which he moved to Dilworth School as a boarder.[5] He was then educated at Bay of Islands College before leaving school at 14 he first worked as a labourer and then a printer.[6] He became an active trade unionist and at the age of 17 was elected to the Auckland Trades Council. He became the first youth representative on the Labour Party executive and was vice-president of the International Union of Socialist Youth for two consecutive terms.[7][8] In 1975, he married Yvonne Dereany, a teacher and presenter of the children's television programme Romper Room.[9][10][11]

Political career

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1972–1975 37th Eden Labour
1978–1981 39th Papanui Labour
1981–1984 40th Papanui Labour
1984–1987 41st Christchurch North Labour
1987–1990 42nd Christchurch North Labour
1990–1993 43rd Christchurch North Labour
1993–1996 44th Christchurch North Labour
1996–1999 45th Waimakariri none Labour

Moore began his parliamentary career when elected as the MP for Eden in 1972, becoming the youngest MP at 23 years of age, where he served for one term before being defeated in the 1975 election.[12][13] Following the announcement of Norman Douglas' retirement from the safe Auckland Central seat there was much speculation that Moore would seek the Auckland Central nomination. The media considered Moore one of the most able backbenchers in the Labour Party, however Moore decided to stand in the marginal Eden seat once again.[14] After his election loss, the Moores visited Warren Freer, and were insistent that he resign from Mount Albert so that Moore could take his place. Freer (who retired in 1981) said he had no intention of resigning and further stated there was no guarantee that he would be selected to replace Freer.[15]

Moore was then elected Labour's youth vice-president and proceeded to contest the Labour nomination in the 1977 Mangere by-election following the resignation of Colin Moyle. He was seen as a frontrunner but lost to local lawyer David Lange, who would go on to become Prime Minister in 1984. Several months later Moore then sought to be Labour's candidate in the newly formed Papatoetoe electorate but again missed out on selection against Grey Lynn MP Eddie Isbey. By the time of his second rejection for a candidature in an Auckland seat he had received invitations from Labour Party organisers in 16 electorates elsewhere in New Zealand prompting him to consider moving from Auckland in order to gain re-election to Parliament.[16]

In 1978 Moore moved to Christchurch and was elected MP for the north Christchurch electorate, then known as Papanui. He held the electorate until his retirement in 1999:[13] as Papanui until 1984, as Christchurch North until 1996, and as Waimakariri thereafter.[12] Shortly after his re-election in 1978 he was elevated to Labour's shadow cabinet by leader Bill Rowling. Initially he was passed over for a position, however after fellow MP Richard Prebble refused to join the shadow cabinet, in protest of being given portfolios he did not want, it resulted in Moore taking his place.[17][18]

In 1983 Moore stood for the deputy leadership of the party. In a three-way contest, in which all candidates were from Christchurch to reflect geographical proportionality, Moore won the first ballot. Lyttelton MP Ann Hercus was eliminated and on the second ballot almost all of her supporters voted for Christchurch Central MP Geoffrey Palmer, who beat Moore by one vote.[19] Leader David Lange later expressed relief at Palmer's success thinking that Moore would have been an un-reassuring deputy due to his inherent ambition.[20] Nevertheless, Lange saw fit to promote Moore to number 3 in the party rankings and appointed him shadow minister of overseas trade and tourism.[21]

Cabinet minister

As a government minister in the Fourth Labour Government he has held numerous portfolios, becoming best known in his role as Overseas Trade Minister from 1984 to 1990 with involvement in the GATT negotiations.[9] He also advanced the Closer Economic Relations (CER) free trade agreement with Australia.[22] In 1988 he became Minister of External Relations and Deputy Minister of Finance.[9] Moore was privately critical of the government's asset sales agenda, particularly concerned with the surge in unemployment that followed, he even dry-vomited in a toilet after the sale of the Tourist Hotel Corporation.[23] He was also vehemently opposed to finance minister Roger Douglas' proposal for a flat tax rate.[24]

In 1988 Lange recalled Palmer from overseas to be acting Prime Minister to prevent Moore (who was ranked third in cabinet) doing so. Lange later reflected saying "But God alone knew what Moore might do."[25] Moore later said he found the comments to be quite hurtful.[26] When Lange resigned in 1989, Moore stood for the leadership of the party, but was defeated 41 votes to 13 by Palmer.[27] Palmer was unable to regain public popularity and resigned just over a year later. Moore stood again for the leadership and won, defeating backbench MP Richard Northey 41 votes to 15, and consequently became New Zealand's 34th Prime Minister.[28]

Prime Minister

Moore became Prime Minister for 59 days, having convinced the Labour caucus that, while he could not win the election for Labour, he would help save more seats than had they remained led by Palmer. Moore energetically hit the campaign trail and made an impact immediately by handling hecklers and interjectors visibly better than Palmer had done. His performance closed the gap in the polls between Labour and National to ten percent, better than it had been for over a year.[29]

The Labour government did not return to power in the next election however. The circumstances of Moore's installment as Prime Minister would later be compared to the return of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia.[30] However, in the 1990 New Zealand general election, National won a landslide, and Labour lost almost 13%, suffering its worst-ever electoral defeat since it first won power in the 1935 election. Following the loss he labelled Labour's last cabinet meeting before the changeover of government 'the last supper'.[31]

Leader of the Opposition

He led the Official Opposition until 1993 and was spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Trade until 1999.[9] He attempted a rejuvenation of Labour's ranks with several important portfolio shifts, including giving the finance portfolio to Michael Cullen, designed to blunt the growth of the newly formed Alliance party (which was made up largely of Labour dissidents).[32] He then led Labour in the 1993 election where he managed to gain 16 seats, coming within two seats of clinching an unlikely victory just three years after the landslide 1990 defeat.[33] On the night of the 1993 election he delivered a televised speech (dubbed the "long, cold night" speech) later described by political scientist Jack Vowles as "damaging" and "more appropriate for a decisive Labour win than a narrow defeat."[34]

Moore said he was pleased with the result, thinking Labour was back in striking distance of forming a government in the future, and believed the result might give him a chance to retain the leadership. However he was deposed as leader at the first post-election caucus meeting by his deputy Helen Clark. His replacement did not surprise him, but he felt begrudged that he was given little appreciation, thinking he would "... have got thanks - then axed [but] the axe went before even 'thank yous'."[2] The irony was not lost on Moore that Clark's allies had installed candidates in the seats Labour had picked up from his campaign who then voted to replace him, making his success the architect of his own downfall.[33]


After the 1993 referendum to adopt mixed-member proportional representation (MMP) Moore considered forming a break-away party, the New Zealand Democratic Coalition, for the 1996 MMP election, but then decided against it. He received countless letters in support of a new party, but despite his ousting as leader, he felt too much affinity to the Labour Party to ever leave it.[35] He won his seat in the 1996 election, obtaining more than twice as many votes as the next-highest candidate, National's Jim Gerard.[36]

Also after losing the leadership, Moore defended the record Fourth Labour Government and was critical of subsequent leaders of the party denigrating its record. He thought that Clark and Cullen's semi-repudiation of Rogernomics was conducted purely to make themselves look better and labelled their remembrances as 'manufactured history'.[37] Clark performed poorly in opinion polls after becoming leader and by early 1996 there was an active movement within Labour to replace her either with Moore of frontbencher Phil Goff.[33] Clark stared down the challengers and remained leader when Cullen shifted his allegiance to Clark after becoming deputy leader. Moore, who still held leadership ambitions, refused to comment on the positional change, saying only that he did not contest the deputy leadership because he was "a leader, not a deputy" but was eventually promoted to the frontbench by Clark in a surprise move.[38]

In 1998, he ran for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organization and was elected to this position on 22 July 1999, taking up the post on 1 September 1999 which was close enough to the 1999 election to not trigger a by-election.[8][39]

Political positions held

Moore in 1992 while Leader of the Opposition.
  • Member of Parliament for Eden, 1972-75.[13]
  • Member of Parliament for Waimakariri (formerly Papanui and Christchurch North), 1978-99.[13]
  • Minister of Tourism, Sport and Recreation, 1984-87.[9]
  • Chairman of the Cabinet Economic Development and Employment Committee, 1984-90.[9]
  • Minister of External Relations and Trade, 1988-90.[9]
  • Minister for the America's Cup, 1988-90.[9]
  • Deputy Minister of Finance, 1988-90.[9]
  • Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing, 1984-90.[9]
  • Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1990.[9]
  • Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, 1990-93.[9]
  • Leader of the Opposition, 1990-93.[9]
  • Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Overseas Trade, 1993-99.[9]

World Trade Organization

Moore was Director-General of the World Trade Organization from 1999 to 2002. This was the highest ever ranking job in international bureaucracy held by a New Zealander.[40] The deal with his rival and successor Supachai Panitchpakdi meant that he served only half of the usual six-year term in the post.[41] Moore's term coincided with momentous changes in the global economy and multilateral trading system. He attempted to restore confidence in the system following the setback of the 1999 WTO ministerial conference held in Seattle. Ministers at the 2001 ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar, regarded him as the driving force behind the decision to launch a new round of multilateral trade negotiations--the ill-fated Doha Development Round. That 2001 meeting also saw the successful accession to the WTO of China and Taiwan, which along with Estonia, Jordan, Georgia, Albania, Oman, Croatia, Lithuania and Moldova joined during Moore's term, bringing the majority of the world's population within the rules-based trading system. He gave particular attention to helping poor countries participate effectively in the multilateral trading system.[39]

Later life and death

Moore became New Zealand Ambassador to the United States in 2010.[42] He had a heart valve operation in 2014 and was admitted to hospital in Washington DC in April 2015 after a mild stroke.[43] In November 2015, he announced that he would leave his post on 16 December and return to New Zealand due to his deteriorating health.[44]

Moore was a supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.[45]

Moore died at his home in Auckland on 2 February 2020, aged 71.[46]

International services and appointments


Moore with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2001.

Moore is an author of a number of books, on subjects ranging from politics to the Pacific. His book A World Without Walls has been published in Chinese and Turkish. He had a regular newspaper column that appeared in five countries.[8][60]

  • On Balance: a Labour Look at Regional, Community and Town Development[61]
  • Beyond Today[9]
  • A Pacific Parliament: A Pacific Idea--an Economic and Political Community for the South Pacific (Asia Pacific Books, 1982)[62]
  • Hard Labour (Penguin Books, 1987)[63]
  • Children of the Poor: How poverty could destroy New Zealand's future (Canterbury University Press, 1996)[9][61][64]
  • A Brief History of the Future: Citizenship of the Millennium (Shoal Bay Press, 1998)[65][9]
  • A World Without Walls: Freedom, Development, Free Trade, and Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2003)[66]
  • Saving Globalization (Wiley, 2009)[67]
  • The Added Value Economy[9][61]
  • Beyond Tomorrow[61]
  • Fighting for New Zealand[9]
  • Labour of Love, New Zealand: a Nation That Can Work Again[61]

Honours and awards

New Zealand honours

Foreign honours

Honorary degrees


  1. ^ "Privy Counsellors". privycouncil.independent.gov.uk. Privy Council. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 56.
  3. ^ Who's who in New Zealand. 1991. ISBN 9780790001302.
  4. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 59.
  5. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 60.
  6. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 61.
  7. ^ Traue, J. E., 'Who's Who in New Zealand', A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1978, ISBN 0-589-01113-8
  8. ^ a b c "Prime Minister of New Zealand - Past Prime Ministers: Mike Moore". PrimeMinister.govt.nz. 1999. Archived from the original on 28 November 1999. Retrieved 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Mike Moore, WTO Director-General, 1999 to 2002". World Trade Organization. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "Romper Room". NZOnScreen. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "Moore, Yvonne, 1955?-". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 221.
  13. ^ a b c d "Former NZ PM Mike Moore dies aged 71". NewstalkZB. 2 February 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ "Last Term for Mr Douglas". The New Zealand Herald. 18 October 1974. p. 1.
  15. ^ Freer 2004, p. 226.
  16. ^ "Mr Moore is Taking Time to Choose". The New Zealand Herald. 17 October 1977. p. 3.
  17. ^ "Political Career May Be Hurt". The New Zealand Herald. 15 December 1979. p. 1.
  18. ^ Shand, G. G. (15 December 1979). "Papanui MP Could Fill Gap In Labour Team". The New Zealand Herald. p. 1.
  19. ^ Garnier, Tony (4 February 1983). "Palmer By One". The Evening Post. p. 4.
  20. ^ Lange 2005, p. 150.
  21. ^ Bassett 2008, pp. 81-83.
  22. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 77.
  23. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 69.
  24. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, pp. 72-3.
  25. ^ Lange 2005, p. 216.
  26. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 71.
  27. ^ Bassett 2008, p. 509.
  28. ^ Bassett 2008, p. 536.
  29. ^ Bassett 2008, p. 538.
  30. ^ "Editorial: Ousting about 'saving the furniture". Dominion Post. 28 June 2013 – via Stuff.
  31. ^ Bassett 2008, p. 539.
  32. ^ "Labour line-up". The New Zealand Herald. 6 December 1991. p. 5.
  33. ^ a b c Quin, Phil (2 April 2011). "Phil Quin: The anatomy of a failed Labour coup". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^ Vowles, Jack (2013). "Countdown to MMP". Voters' Victory?: New Zealand's First Election under Proportional Representation. Auckland University Press. p. 29. ISBN 9781869407131.
  35. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, p. 84.
  36. ^ "Electorate Candidate and Party Votes Recorded at Each Polling Place - Waimakariri" (PDF). Retrieved 2013.
  37. ^ Espiner & Watkin 2017, pp. 68-69, 73.
  38. ^ Kirk, Jeremy (12 June 1996). "Clark secure as rebels pledge fealty; Cullen picked as Caygill quits". The Press.
  39. ^ a b "La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia: 4th Annual Global Finance Conference". GFC2007.org. Archived from the original on 10 January 2007. Retrieved 2011.
  40. ^ Bassett 2008, p. 540.
  41. ^ Keall, Chris (2 February 2020). "Mike Moore remembered as a passionate defender of trade". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2020.
  42. ^ "McCully names new Ambassador to the United States". Beehive.govt.nz. New Zealand Government. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  43. ^ "Former PM Moore in US hospital after stroke". The New Zealand Herald. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "Mike Moore heading back to NZ". Stuff. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ "Heads of state or government and foreign ministers". Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 2017.
  46. ^ "Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore dies age 71". Radio NZ. 2 February 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h "NZ Amb. Moore". United States / New Zealand Council. Retrieved 2020.
  48. ^ Williams, Caroline (2 February 2020). "Former prime minister and WTO director-general Mike Moore dies aged 71". Stuff. Retrieved 2020.
  49. ^ "GLF Membership". Global Leadership Foundation. Retrieved 2020.
  50. ^ "New Fonterra Trade Role For Mike Moore | Scoop News". Scoop.co.nz. Scoop Media. 8 January 2003. Retrieved 2020.
  51. ^ "Ambassador from New Zealand: Who is Mike Moore?". AllGov.com. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 2020. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission.
  52. ^ "Mike Moore appointed Government trade envoy". NZ Herald. 5 September 2002. Retrieved 2020.
  53. ^ "World Strategy Forum 2012". World Strategy Forum. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 2020.
  54. ^ "The secret diary of . . . Mike Moore". Sunday Star-Times. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 2020 – via PressReader.com.
  55. ^ a b "Mike Moore honoured in Australia". Stuff. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 2020.
  56. ^ a b "New roles for former PM Moore". NZ Herald. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 2020.
  57. ^ Moore, Mike (28 March 2010). "NZ: Making friends, creating jobs, building a nation". University World News. Retrieved 2020.
  58. ^ a b c "Elevating New Zealand-U.S. Relations to New Heights". Asia Society. Retrieved 2020.
  59. ^ a b c "Rt. Hon. Mike Moore". Mike-Moore.info. 10 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2020.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  60. ^ La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia: Media Release Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Right Honourable Michael Moore, ONZ, AO". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 2020.
  62. ^ Moore, Mike (1982). A Pacific Parliament: A Pacific Idea : an Economic and Political Community for the South Pacific. Asia Pacific Books. ISBN 9780908583270.
  63. ^ Moore, Mike (1987). Hard Labour. Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140102352.
  64. ^ "Children of the Poor: How poverty could destroy New Zealand's future". The University of Canterbury. Retrieved 2020.
  65. ^ Moore, Mike (September 1998). A brief history of the future: citizenship of the millennium. Shoal Bay Press.
  66. ^ Moore, Mike (21 January 2003). A World Without Walls: Freedom, Development, Free Trade and Global Governance. Cambridge University Press.
  67. ^ Moore, Mike (2 December 2009). Saving Globalization: Why Globalization and Democracy Offer the Best Hope for Progress, Peace and Development. John Wiley & Sons.
  68. ^ a b c Young, Audrey (12 April 2012). "NZ-Australia relationship not understood by outsiders: Mike Moore". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2020.
  69. ^ "The New Year Honours 2000". New Zealand Gazette (3): 93. 19 January 2000. Notice Number 2000-vr424.
  70. ^ "Mike Moore". BCC Speakers. Retrieved 2020.
  71. ^ "Honorary Appointments and Awards within the Order of Australia". Commonwealth of Australia. 2 December 2011. Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  72. ^ "15 August 2000 Lincoln Honorary Doctorate for Mike Moore". Lincoln University Living Heritage: Tikaka T?ku Iho. Retrieved 2020.
  73. ^ "Two to receive honorary doctorates in 2004". University of Canterbury. 23 January 2004. Retrieved 2020 – via Scoop.co.nz.


External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Palmer
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Jim Bolger
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Bolger
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Helen Clark
Preceded by
Russell Marshall
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Don McKinnon
Preceded by
Warren Cooper
Minister of Overseas Trade
Preceded by
Rob Talbot
Minister of Tourism
Succeeded by
Phil Goff
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
John Rae
Member of Parliament for Eden
Succeeded by
Aussie Malcolm
Preceded by
Bert Walker
Member of Parliament for Papanui
Constituency abolished
Constituency recreated after abolition in 1946
Title last held by
Sidney Holland
Member of Parliament for Christchurch North
New constituency Member of Parliament for Waimakariri
Succeeded by
Clayton Cosgrove
Party political offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Palmer
Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Helen Clark
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Renato Ruggiero
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Succeeded by
Supachai Panitchpakdi
Preceded by
Roy Ferguson
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Carl Worker

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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