Former Prime Minister Mike Moore passes away aged 71

BREAKING 02/02/2020
Mike Moore (Centre) with All Blacks as NZ ambassador to US

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore passed away early this morning aged 71.

The Right Honourable Michael Kenneth Moore passed away in his home in the early hours of Sunday February 2. Mr Moore suffered a stroke in 2015 while serving as ambassador in Washington DC.

His wife Yvonne 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.

First elected to the Auckland seat of Eden in 1972, Mr Moore was New Zealand’s youngest Member of Parliament at 23-years-old. 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, therefore, Prime Minister and later Leader of the Opposition, from 4 September 1990 until 1 December 1993.

Mr 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.