- Publish Date
- Sunday, 2 February 2020, 10:41AM
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore passed away early this morning aged 71.
Moore was at his home in Auckland when he died, his wife Yvonne said.
Moore, who was the country's 34th Prime Minister, suffered a stroke in 2015 when he was New Zealand's ambassador in Washington DC and had been in declining health in recent years.
Mrs 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.
"Mike wanted to be in Northland one last time so he spent much of summer in Matauri Bay and only came back to Auckland in recent weeks because of his health.
"Northland made him the battler and fighter for ordinary Kiwis he was throughout his life and career and that was what drove him to become a member of the New Zealand Labour Party at 16-years-old. He was stubborn, optimistic, generous and kind."
Mike Moore became the Prime Minister for 59 days before the October 1990 general election.
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 the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation from 1999 to 2002. He has also held the post of New Zealand Ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2015.
Moore was first elected to the Auckland seat of Eden in 1972, the youngest MP 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.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.