Michael Kenneth Moore ONZ AO PC (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. 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.
1 Early life
2 Member of Parliament
2.1 Political positions held
3 World Trade Organization
4 Later life and death
5 International services and appointments
7 Honours and awards
7.1 New Zealand honours
7.2 Foreign honours
7.3 Honorary degrees
9 Further reading
10 External links
Moore was born in 1949 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, the son of Audrey Evelyn (née Goodall) and Alan Moore. He was raised in Moerewa and educated at Bay of Islands College and Dilworth School. After leaving school at 14 he first worked as a labourer and then a printer. 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. In 1975, he married Yvonne Dereany, a teacher and presenter of the children's television programme Romper Room.
Member of Parliament
Further information: Electoral history of Mike Moore
New Zealand Parliament
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. 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. After his election loss, the Moores visited Warren Freer, and were insistent that he resign from Mt Albert so that Moore could take his place. Freer (who retired in 1981) said he had no intention of resigning, and anyway there was no guarantee that he would be selected to replace Freer.
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.
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: as Papanui until 1984, as Christchurch North until 1996, and as Waimakariri thereafter.
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. Leader David Lange later expressed relief at Palmer's success thinking that Moore would been an un-reassuring deputy due to his inherent ambition. Nevertheless Lange saw fit to promote Moore to number 3 in the party rankings and appointed him shadow minister of overseas trade and tourism.
As a government minister 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. In 1988 he became Minister of External Relations and Deputy Minister of Finance. In 1990 he became leader of the Labour Party and consequently Prime Minister for 59 days, convincing the Labour caucus that, while he could not win the election for Labour, he would help save more seats than staying with the incumbent, Geoffrey Palmer. The Labour government did not return to power in the next election. The circumstances of Moore's installment as Prime Minister would later be compared to the return of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia. 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.
He led the Official Opposition until 1993 and was spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Trade until 1999. He left the leadership position after Labour's defeat in the 1993 election. On the night of the 1993 election he delivered a televised speech later described by political scientist Jack Vowles as "damaging" and "more appropriate for a decisive Labour win than a narrow defeat."
After the 1993 election Moore strongly considered forming a break-away party, the New Zealand Democratic Coalition, for the 1996 MMP election, but then decided against it. He won his seat in the 1996 election, obtaining more than twice as many votes as the next-highest candidate, National's Jim Gerard.
In 1998, he ran for the post of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and was elected to this position on 22 July 1999. He took up the post on 1 September 1999; close enough to the 1999 election to not trigger a by-election. The deal with his rival and successor Supachai Panitchpakdi meant that he served only half of the usual six-year term in the post.
Political positions held
Moore in 1992 while Leader of the Opposition.
Member of Parliament for Eden, 1972–75.
Member of Parliament for Waimakariri (formerly Papanui and Christchurch North), 1978–99.
Minister of Tourism, Sport and Recreation, 1984–87.
Chairman of the Cabinet Economic Development and Employment Committee, 1984–90.
Minister of External Relations and Trade, 1988–90.
Minister for the America's Cup, 1988–90.
Deputy Minister of Finance, 1988–90.
Minister of Overseas Trade and Marketing, 1984–90.
Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1990.
Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, 1990–93.
Leader of the Opposition, 1990–93.
Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Overseas Trade, 1993–99.
World Trade Organization
Moore was Director-General of the World Trade Organization from 1999 to 2002. His 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 Chinese Taipei, 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.
Later life and death
Moore became New Zealand Ambassador to the United States in 2010. He had a heart valve operation in 2014 and was admitted to hospital in Washington DC in April 2015 after a mild stroke. In November 2015, he announced that he would leave his post on 16 December and return to New Zealand due to his deteriorating health.
Moore was a supporter of the Campaign for the Establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
Moore died at his home in Auckland on 2 February 2020, aged 71.
International services and appointments
Commissioner, United Nations Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor
Commissioner, Global Commission on International Migration
Director General of the World Trade Organisation, 1999–2002
Member, Global Leadership Foundation
Senior Counsellor, Fonterra
Member, Trilateral Commission
Member, Economic Development Board, South Australia
New Zealand Government Trade Envoy
Special Advisor to the United Nations Global Compact for Business and Development
Former Board Member to the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Member, Board of Governors for the Institute for International Business, Economics and Law, University of Adelaide
Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Adjunct Professor, University of Adelaide, South Australia
Chairperson, Advisory Board of Carnegie Mellon University, Adelaide
Honorary Professor, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai
Honorary Professor, Chinese University for Political Science and International Law, Beijing
Honorary Professor, Shanghai Customs College
Honorary President, Beijing Afforestation Foundation.
Special Advisor, China Institute for Reform and Development's World Trade Organisation Reference Centre.
CEO, The Moore Group International Ltd.
Moore with Russian Prime Minister 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.
On Balance: a Labour Look at Regional, Community and Town Development
A Pacific Parliament: A Pacific Idea—an Economic and Political Community for the South Pacific (Asia Pacific Books, 1982)
Hard Labour (Penguin Books, 1987)
Children of the Poor: How poverty could destroy New Zealand's future (Canterbury University Press, 1996)
A Brief History of the Future: Citizenship of the Millennium (Shoal Bay Press, 1998)
A World Without Walls: Freedom, Development, Free Trade, and Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Saving Globalization (Wiley, 2009)
The Added Value Economy
Fighting for New Zealand
Labour of Love, New Zealand: a Nation That Can Work Again
Honours and awards
New Zealand honours
New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal (1990)
Order of New Zealand (1999)
Commander of the Order of the Equatorial Star (2000) – Government of Gabon
Chancellor's Medal (Medalla Rectoral) – University of Chile
National Order of the Ivory Coast (2002) – Government of the Ivory Coast
Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (2002) – Government of Kenya
Order of Duke Branimir with Ribbon (June 2002) – Republic of Croatia
National Honour of Georgia (July 2002) – Government of Georgia
Medal of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (August 2002) – Government of Uruguay – highest national honour
Pope John Paul II Annual Medal (August 2002) – The Holy See
Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the South Australian Government by developing initiatives in economic reform and for service to the education sector
Honorary Doctorate in Commerce – Lincoln University, New Zealand
Honorary Doctorate in Economics – People's University of China, Beijing
Honorary Doctorate in Commerce – Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Honorary Doctorate in Commerce – University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Honorary Doctorate in Law – La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
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