Mike Moore (New Zealand politician)

The Right Honourable
Mike Moore

Mike Moore
34th Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
4 September 1990  2 November 1990
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor-General Paul Reeves
Deputy Helen Clark
Preceded by Geoffrey Palmer
Succeeded by Jim Bolger
3rd Director-General of the World Trade Organization
In office
1 September 1999  1 September 2002
Preceded by Renato Ruggiero
Succeeded by Supachai Panitchpakdi
26th Leader of the Opposition
in New Zealand
In office
2 November 1990  1 December 1993
Preceded by Jim Bolger
Succeeded by Helen Clark
11th Leader of the Labour Party
In office
4 September 1990  1 December 1993
Deputy Helen Clark
Preceded by Geoffrey Palmer
Succeeded by Helen Clark
10th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 February 1990  2 November 1990
Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
Preceded by Russell Marshall
Succeeded by Don McKinnon
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Papanui
In office
25 November 1978  14 July 1984
Preceded by Bert Walker
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch North
In office
14 July 1984  12 October 1996
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Waimakariri
In office
12 October 1996  31 August 1999
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Clayton Cosgrove
Personal details
Born (1949-01-28) 28 January 1949
Whakatāne, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Yvonne Dereany
Children None
Profession Union organiser
Website Mike Moore

Michael Kenneth Moore, ONZ AO (known as Mike Moore, born 28 January 1949) is a politician from New Zealand who has served both as Prime Minister of New Zealand and Director-General of the World Trade Organization. He has also held the post of New Zealand Ambassador to the United States (2010 to December 2015).

Early life

Moore was born in Whakatāne, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand in 1949. He was raised in Moerewa and educated at the Bay of Islands College and Dilworth School. After leaving school 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.[1][2][3]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
19721975 37th Eden Labour
19781981 39th Papanui Labour
19811984 40th Papanui Labour
19841987 41st Christchurch North Labour
19871990 42nd Christchurch North Labour
19901993 43rd Christchurch North Labour
19931996 44th Christchurch North Labour
19961999 45th Waimakariri none Labour

Moore began his parliamentary career when elected as the MP for Eden in 1972, but was defeated for Eden (and Labour was unexpectedly defeated) in the 1975 election.[4] After the election, 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.[5]

In 1978 Moore moved to Christchurch and was elected MP for the north Christchurch electorate, then known as Papanui. He held the electorate until 1999: as Papanui until 1984, as Christchurch North until 1996, and as Waimakariri thereafter.[4]

As a government minister he has held numerous portfolios, becoming best known in his role as Overseas Trade Minister (since 1984[6]) with involvement in the GATT negotiations. In 1987 he also became Minister of External Relations and in 1988 Deputy Minister of Finance. In 1990 he became leader of the Labour Party and consequently Prime Minister for a few months, 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 was not returned to power in the next general 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.[7]

He led the Official Opposition until 1993 and was spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Trade until 1999. He was dumped as Labour leader after the 1993 election despite leading the party to near victory at that election after only one term in opposition.[8]

As a result of his dumping as Labour leader, he 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.[9]

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.[2][10] 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.

World Trade Organization

Mike Moore was the director-general of the World Trade Organisation 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 Mr 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.[10]

Later life

Moore became New Zealand Ambassador to the United States in 2010.[11]

He had a heart valve operation in 2014 and was admitted to hospital in Washington DC in April 2015 after a mild stroke.[12] In November 2015, he announced that he would leave his post on 16 December and return to New Zealand due to his deteriorating health.[13]

International services and appointments


Moore with Vladimir Putin in 2001.

Mike Moore is an author of a number of books, on subjects ranging from politics to the Pacific. His most recent book on globalisation, 'A World Without Walls', has also been published in Chinese and Turkish. He has a regular newspaper column that appears in five countries.[2][15]


Honours and awards

to the education sector.


  1. Traue, J. E., 'Who's Who in New Zealand' A.H. & A.W. Reed 1978 ISBN 0-589-01113-8
  2. 1 2 3 Prime Minister of New Zealand – Past Prime Ministers: Mike Moore. Primeminister.govt.nz. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  3. 1 2 International Union of Socialist Youth (Veterans). Iusy.org. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  4. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 221.
  5. Freer 2004, p. 226.
  6. Wilson 1985, p. 97.
  7. Editorial: Ousting about 'saving the furniture', Dominion Post, 28 June 2013
  8. Quin, Phil (2 April 2011). "Phil Quin: The anatomy of a failed Labour coup". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  9. "Electorate Candidate and Party Votes Recorded at Each Polling Place - Waimakariri" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia: 4th Annual Global Finance Conference. Gfc2007.org. Retrieved 6 July 2011
  11. Beehive Website. Beehive.govt.nz (20 February 2010). Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  12. "Former PM Moore in US hospital after stroke". The New Zealand Herald. 23 April 2015.
  13. "Mike Moore heading back to NZ". Stuff. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  14. 1 2 Mike Moore Official website. Mike-moore.info. Retrieved on 6 July 2011.
  15. La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia: Media Release Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. "The New Year Honours 2000". New Zealand Gazette (3): 93. 19 January 2000. Notice Number 2000-vr424.
  17. "Honorary Appointments and Awards within the Order of Australia". Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2012.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Moore.
Government offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Palmer
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Jim Bolger
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Bolger
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Helen Clark
Preceded by
Russell Marshall
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Don McKinnon
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
John Rae
Member of Parliament for Eden
Succeeded by
Aussie Malcolm
Preceded by
Bert Walker
Member of Parliament for Papanui
Constituency abolished
Constituency recreated after abolition in 1946
Title last held by
Sidney Holland
Member of Parliament for Christchurch North
New constituency Member of Parliament for Waimakariri
Succeeded by
Clayton Cosgrove
Party political offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Palmer
Leader of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Helen Clark
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Renato Ruggiero
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Succeeded by
Supachai Panitchpakdi
Preceded by
Roy Ferguson
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Carl Worker
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