Bolger in 2018
|35th Prime Minister of New Zealand|
2 November 1990 –8 December 1997
|Deputy|| Don McKinnon (1990–96)|
Winston Peters (1996–97)
|Governor-General|| Paul Reeves |
Michael Hardie Boys
|Preceded by||Mike Moore|
|Succeeded by||Jenny Shipley|
|25th Leader of the Opposition|
26 March 1986 –2 November 1990
|Preceded by||Jim McLay|
|Succeeded by||Mike Moore|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
for King Country
Taranaki-King Country (1996–1998)
|Succeeded by||Shane Ardern|
James Brendan Bolger
31 May 1935
Opunake, Taranaki, New Zealand
Joan Maureen Riddell(m. 1963)
James Brendan Bolger ONZ PC ( // BUL-jər; born 31 May 1935) is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997.
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
Bolger was born to an Irish immigrant family in Opunake, Taranaki. Before entering politics, he farmed in the Waikato and was involved in Federated Farmers, a nationwide agricultural association. Bolger won election to Parliament in 1972, and subsequently served in several portfolios in the Third National Government. Following one unsuccessful bid for the party leadership in 1984, Bolger was elected as National Party leader in 1986. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990.
Opunake is a small town on the southwest coast of Taranaki in New Zealand's North Island. It is located 45 kilometres southwest of New Plymouth. Rahotu is 16 km to the northwest. Manaia is 29 km to the southeast. State Highway 45 passes through the town.
Taranaki is a region in the west of New Zealand's North Island. It is named after its main geographical feature, the stratovolcano of Mount Taranaki.
Waikato is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato District, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District. It is governed by the Waikato Regional Council.
Bolger led the National Party to a landslide victory—the largest in its history—in the 1990 election, allowing him to become Prime Minister on 2 November 1990. The Fourth National Government was elected on the promise of delivering a "Decent Society" following the previous Labour government's economic reforms, known as "Rogernomics", which Bolger criticised. However, shortly after taking office, his government was forced to bail out the Bank of New Zealand and as a result reneged on a number of promises made during the election campaign. Bolger's government essentially advanced the free-market reforms of the previous government, while implementing drastic cuts in public spending. National retained power in the 1993 election, albeit with a much-reduced majority.
A landslide victory is an electoral victory in a political system, when one candidate or party receives an overwhelming majority of the votes or seats in the elected body, thus all but utterly eliminating the opponents. The winning party has reached more voters than usual, and a landslide victory is often seen in hindsight as a turning point in people's views on political matters.
The 1990 New Zealand general election was held on 27 October to determine the composition of the 43rd New Zealand parliament. The governing Labour Party was defeated, ending its controversial two terms in office. The National Party, led by Jim Bolger, won a landslide victory and formed the new government.
The Fourth National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 2 November 1990 to 27 November 1999. Following electoral reforms in the 1996 election, Jim Bolger formed a coalition with New Zealand First. Following Bolger's resignation, the government was led by Jenny Shipley, the country's first female Prime Minister, for the final two years.
Bolger's second term in office saw the introduction of the MMP electoral system. In the subsequent 1996 election National emerged as the largest party but it was forced to enter into a coalition with New Zealand First. Bolger continued as Prime Minister, however his critics argued that he gave the inexperienced NZ First too much influence in his Cabinet. On 8 December 1997, Bolger was effectively ousted as leader by his party caucus, and was replaced as Prime Minister by Jenny Shipley.
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral systems.
The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse than previous elections. It saw the National Party, led by Jim Bolger, retain its position in government, but only after protracted negotiations with the smaller New Zealand First party to form a coalition. New Zealand First's position as "kingmaker", able to place either of the two major parties into government, was a significant election outcome.
New Zealand First, commonly abbreviated to NZ First, is a nationalist and populist political party in New Zealand. It was founded in July 1993, following the resignation on 19 March 1993 of its leader and founder, Winston Peters, from the then-governing National Party. It has formed governments with both major parties in New Zealand, first with the National Party from 1996 to 1998 and then with the Labour Party from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017 to present.
After resigning as a Member of Parliament in 1998, Bolger became Ambassador to the United States and remained in this post until 2002.
Bolger was born in 1935 in Opunake in Taranaki. He was born into an Irish Catholic family; Bolger was one of five childrenborn to Daniel and Cecilia (née Doyle) Bolger who emigrated together from Gorey, County Wexford, in 1930. He left Opunake High School at age 15 to work on the family dairy farm.
Gorey is a market town in north County Wexford, Ireland. It is beside the main M11 Dublin to Wexford road. The town is also connected to the railway network along the same route. Local newspapers include the Gorey Guardian and Gorey Echo.
County Wexford is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster and is part of the South-East Region. Named after the town of Wexford, it was based on the historic Gaelic territory of Hy Kinsella, whose capital was Ferns. Wexford County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county was 149,722 at the 2016 census.
Opunake High School is a state secondary school for years 9 to 13 boys and girls in Opunake, New Zealand. It has a roll of 319 as of November 2015, the school crest features the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, open book and the torch of the spirit, and Mt Taranaki the motto "Ut prosim patriae" which translates to "that I may be worthy of my country". The school colours are blue and yellow. Most of the school's approximately 319 students are from Opunake and surrounding townships such as Manaia, Kaponga, and Rahotu.
In 1963 he married Joan Riddell, and they moved to their own sheep and beef farm in Te Kuiti two years later.During this time Bolger became involved in local farmer politics. In the late 1960s he was asked to accompany the then Minister of Finance Robert Muldoon to see for himself the difficulties faced by farmers in the area. As Bolger travelled around the district, he became experienced with Muldoon's adversarial style.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|1972 –1975||37th||King Country||National|
|1975 –1978||38th||King Country||National|
|1978 –1981||39th||King Country||National|
|1981 –1984||40th||King Country||National|
|1984 –1987||41st||King Country||National|
|1987 –1990||42nd||King Country||National|
|1990 –1993||43rd||King Country||National|
|1993 –1996||44th||King Country||National|
|1996 –1998||45th||Taranaki-King Country||1||National|
Bolger entered politics in 1972 as the New Zealand National Party Member of Parliament for King Country, a newly created electorate in the rural western portion of North Island. This electorate is traditional National territory, and Bolger won easily. He represented this electorate, renamed Taranaki-King Country in 1996, until his retirement in 1998. In 1975 he was made a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, first as New Zealand's Minister of Fisheries and Associate Minister of Agriculture (1977), later as Minister of Labour following the 1978 election.
After the defeat of National at the 1984 general elections, Bolger and deputy leader Jim McLay challenged Muldoon for the leadership of the party. McLay succeeded and named Bolger as deputy leader (and hence Deputy Leader of the Opposition). However, in 1986 Bolger successfully challenged McLay's leadership. Initially Bolger pursued a pro law and order approach, with a focus on critiquing Labour's perceived reluctance to combat "lawlessness" and offering a referendum on the reintroduction of capital punishment.Following an unsuccessful election in 1987, National under Bolger capitalised on public anger at the Labour government's neoliberal reforms (Rogernomics) to win National's biggest ever majority in 1990. As a result, Bolger became Prime Minister at the age of 55.
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Three days after being sworn in as Prime Minister, Bolger's government needed to bail out the Bank of New Zealand, then the largest bank in the country. The cost of the bail out was $380 million, but after rewriting its budget, the government needed to borrow $740 million. This had an immediate impact on Bolger's direction in government, with the first budget of his premiership being dubbed the "Mother of All Budgets". Bolger's Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson, implemented drastic cuts in public spending, particularly in health and welfare. The first budget specifically reversed National's election promise to remove the tax surcharge on superannuation.
The economic reforms, dubbed "Ruthanasia", proved massively unpopular with National's traditional voter base. As a result, the government came extremely close to losing the 1993 general election. Following the close of the election Bolger demoted Richardson to the back benches and appointed Bill Birch, who was seen as more moderate. During Birch's tenure, spending on core areas such as healthand education increased. His government passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act 1994. His government also introduced the Building Act 1991, which is seen by some as the most crucial factor leading to the leaky homes crisis in the decade following its introduction. Bolger's government passed the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992. In 1993, Bolger was awarded the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal. During the 1994 Address-in-Reply debate, Bolger argued in favour of a New Zealand republic. Bolger denied that his views related to his Irish heritage.
Proposals to end the status of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the country's highest court of appeal failed to gain parliamentary sanction during Bolger's premiership (however Helen Clark's Fifth Labour Government would replace the right of appeal in 2003 when it set up the Supreme Court of New Zealand). Bolger's government ended the awarding of British honours in 1996, introducing a New Zealand Honours System. At a conference on the "Bolger years" in 2007, Bolger recalled speaking to the Queen about the issue of New Zealand becoming a republic: "I have more than once spoken with Her Majesty about my view that New Zealand would at some point elect its own Head of State, we discussed the matter in a most sensible way and she was in no way surprised or alarmed and neither did she cut my head off."
Bolger opposed electoral reform, [ citation needed ]but despite his party's opposition held a referendum on whether or not New Zealand should change from the British-style electoral system of 'first past the post' to one of proportional representation. In 1992, New Zealanders voted to change to the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) system. This was confirmed in a binding referendum held at the same time as the 1993 general election, which National won. Bolger had originally proposed a return to a bicameral system, with a Senate elected by Single Transferable Vote, but this proposal was dropped in the face of support for electoral reform.
In 1996 New Zealand had its first election under MMP. Bolger's government stayed in office in a caretaker role while negotiations began for a coalition government. Although National remained the largest single party, neither Bolger nor Labour leader Helen Clark could form a government on their own. The balance of power in the new House rested with New Zealand First, a party that had only been formed three years earlier. Its leader, Winston Peters, had left the National Party to form his own party, and opposed many of the free-market reforms implemented by National, and Labour before it.[ citation needed ]
Ultimately, in December, Peters decided to go into coalition with National. Bolger had to pay a very high price in order to stay in power, however. As part of a detailed coalition agreement, Peters became Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer (senior to the existing post of Finance Minister, which was retained by Birch). Although Bolger had previously sacked Peters from a National cabinet, the two initially seemed to work well together.[ citation needed ]
Growing opposition to Bolger's slow pace led Transport Minister Jenny Shipley to stage a caucus room coup in 1997. Bolger was out of the country at the time, and when he returned he found that he did not have enough support in his caucus to remain as party leader and prime minister. Rather than face being voted out, he resigned on 8 December, and Shipley became New Zealand's first woman prime minister. As a concession, Bolger was made a junior minister in Shipley's government.
Bolger remains National's second-longest-serving leader. Retiring politician journalist Peter Luke said that Bolger was "[t]he most under-estimated prime minister I have come across. He made up for his lack of education by having an innate ability to relate to the aspirations of ordinary Kiwis. And, as many civil servants discovered to their cost, his image of being a simple King Country farmer did not mean that he would not understand their reports and unfailingly point to the flaws in them."
Bolger retired as MP for Taranaki-King Country in 1998, prompting the 1998 by-election and subsequently became New Zealand's Ambassador to the United States. [ by whom? ] Chairman of the state-owned New Zealand Post and of its subsidiary Kiwibank. He also chairs Express Couriers Ltd, Trustees Executors Ltd, the Gas Industry Company Ltd, the Advisory Board of the World Agricultural Forum, St. Louis, USA, the New Zealand United States Council, and the Board of Directors of the Ian Axford Fellowships in Public Policy.On his return to New Zealand in 2001, he was appointed
Bolger was elected Chancellor of the University of Waikato on 14 February 2007, succeeding John Jackman.
On 1 July 2008, almost 15 years after his National government sold New Zealand Rail Ltd, the Labour-led government repurchased its successor Toll NZ Ltd (less its Tranz Link trucking and distribution arm), having repurchased the track network in 2004. Bolger became chair of the company, renamed KiwiRail, a position he held until 1 July 2010. A number of commentators,including Winston Peters, view this as ironic. In response, Bolger acknowledged his involvement in privatising New Zealand Rail, remarking that "my life is full of ironies," and added that "the world has changed."
On 5 June 2018 Bolger was announced as the head of a government working group, tasked with reporting back on the design of Fair Pay Agreements by the end of the year.
In 1977, Bolger was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.Both Jim and Joan Bolger received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal, and, in 1993, the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal. In the 1998 New Year Honours, Jim Bolger was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand, and Joan Bolger was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.
Bolger and his wife Joan are Roman Catholics. The couple has nine children. Bolger voted pro-life whenever the issue came up in a parliamentary conscience vote.He is a member of Collegium International.
Some have made reference to Jim Bolger—ironically or affectionately—as the "Great Helmsman".
Sir Robert David Muldoon, also known as Rob Muldoon, was a New Zealand politician who served as the 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand, from 1975 to 1984, while Leader of the National Party.
Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician who has served since 2017 as the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. Peters has led the populist New Zealand First party since its foundation in 1993. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2011, having previously served from 1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 2008.
Dame Jennifer Mary Shipley is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 36th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1997 to 1999. She was the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, and is the only woman to have led the National Party.
Ruthanasia, a portmanteau of "Ruth" and "euthanasia", is the pejorative name given to the period of free-market policies conducted during the first term of the fourth National government in New Zealand, from 1990 to 1993. As the first period of reform from 1984 to 1990 was known as Rogernomics after the Labour Party Minister of Finance, Roger Douglas, so the second period became known as "Ruthanasia", after the National Party's Minister of Finance, Ruth Richardson.
Ruth Richardson served as New Zealand's Minister of Finance from 1990 to 1993, is credited for being the first Finance Minister to have published a modern public sector balance sheet. Following the work of the preceding Labour Government that initiated the financial reforms and passed the necessary legislation, she supported and carried on the reforms, and extended them in a significant way with the fiscal responsibility Act 1994. And more than the Labour ministers who initiated the reforms, she advocated for the merits of modern accounting and financial systems subsequently introduced modern accounting to the national government. These Public Financial Management reforms were part of her wider economic reforms that helped to take New Zealand out of its economic and financial crisis, including the Mother of all Budgets as the first budget was called. This first budget formed the catalyst of her economic reforms known in the media as 'Ruthanasia', as they were widely unpopular at the time with huge, controversial changes following the works of the previous labour government. The successful reforms have been thoroughly researched and documented in academia and held up as a model reform program.
The Taranaki-King Country by-election was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Taranaki-King Country, a large and predominantly rural district in the west of New Zealand's North Island. It took place on 2 May 1998, and was precipitated by the resignation from parliament of sitting MP Jim Bolger. Bolger was retiring from politics, having recently been replaced as Prime Minister by Jenny Shipley.
Sir James Kenneth McLay is a New Zealand diplomat and former politician. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 15 March to 26 July 1984. McLay was also Leader of the National Party and Leader of the Opposition from 29 November 1984 to 26 March 1986. Following his ousting as party leader, he retired from parliamentary politics in 1987. In June 2009, he became New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In May 2015, McLay became New Zealand's Representative to the Palestinian Authority. From May 2016 to January 2017, he was New Zealand's Consul General in Honolulu.
The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats. The election was New Zealand's last under the non-proportional first past the post electoral system.
The 45th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. Its composition was determined by the 1996 election, and it sat until the 1999 election.
Raymond Tau Henare is a former New Zealand Māori parliamentarian. In representing three different political parties in parliament—New Zealand First, Mauri Pacific and the National Party—Henare served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1993 to 1999 and from 2005 to 2014.
The 41st New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. Its composition was determined by the 1984 elections, and it sat until the 1987 elections.
The Tight Five was a nickname given to the five Māori MPs elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1996 from the centrist/populist New Zealand First party.
The New Zealand constitutional crisis of 1984 was an important constitutional and political event in the history of New Zealand. The crisis arose following the 1984 general election, and was caused by a major currency crisis. The crisis led the incoming government to review New Zealand's constitutional structures, which resulted in the Constitution Act 1986.
The New Zealand National Party leadership election, 1984 was held to determine the future leadership of the New Zealand National Party. The election was won by former Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay.
The New Zealand National Party leadership election was an election for the National leadership position in 1986.
The New Zealand National Party leadership election was an election for the National leadership position in 1997.
Just as Norway's Prime minister is a popular and respected figure, widely seen as a fit leader for her country, so can Jim Bolger lay claim to a similar role. The Prime Minister has relished the challenge of the transition to PR in New Zealand, basking in his role as the 'Great Helmsman'.
The key [...] was a steady hand on the tiller with 'the great helmsman' Jim Bolger [...].
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jim Bolger .|
| Prime Minister of New Zealand |
| Leader of the Opposition |
|New Zealand Parliament|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament for King Country |
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the National Party |
| Deputy Leader of the National Party |
| Ambassador to the United States |