Mike Moore


Mike Moore
Mike Moore

In September 1990, just weeks from an election Labour seemed certain to lose, the caucus made Mike Moore New Zealand’s third PM in 13 months. Opposition leader Jim Bolger quipped that a ‘caretaker Prime Minister’ had been replaced by an ‘undertaker Prime Minister’.

Moore was an authentic working-class battler. He came into Parliament in 1972 as the then youngest-ever MP. Dumped three years later in the Robert Muldoon landslide, he battled cancer, studied economic and trade issues, and returned in 1978. An early supporter of David Lange, the man with the panda-bear circles around his eyes threw his boundless energy into promoting tourism and trade, pushing everything from lamb burgers to challenging for yachting’s America’s Cup.

Helen Clark took the leadership from Moore in December 1993 after National squeaked back into power. It was a painful blow. Six years later Moore left Parliament to become director-general of the World Trade Organization (1999-2002). An enthusiastic, energetic (some said erratic) thinker, Moore continued to publish, lecture and consult widely. He was ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2015.

By Gavin McLean

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Posted: 21 Sep 2012

James Frederick Stuart-Wortley was elected to NZ's 1st Parliament in the Christchurch Country electorate on 27 August 1853. At the time, one had to be 21 years of age to be allowed to vote (and to be voted for), so Stuart-Wortley had not even been eligible to be elected: he had been born on 16 January 1833 and was thus only 20 years and 7 months when he got elected.

Mike Moore was 23 when he got elected. The information on this page would appear to be wrong. In fact, there were others who were 23 when first elected (and further away from their next birthday on election day than Moore was): Marilyn Waring and Simon Upton