Funeral for former Prime Minister Mike Moore tomorrow

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore. Photo: NZ Herald
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Mike Moore. Photo: NZ Herald
The great and the good will gather at Dilworth School tomorrow for the funeral of former Prime Minister Mike Moore, who died last week after a long illness, aged 71.

They won't all be there. Helen Clark, who replaced him as leader of the Labour Party in 1993, is in Norway at a meeting of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, whose board she is a member of. She told the Herald she was unable to attend the funeral.

The line-up of attendees will include most party leaders in Parliament today, including the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern; the Leader of the Opposition, Simon Bridges, NZ First leader Winston Peters and Greens co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw.

However, David Seymour, leader of Act and Dilworth's local MP, will not be there. As a leading exponent of free trade and globalisation, Moore was one of Seymour's political fathers, although the two never met.

Seymour told Parliament this week he respected Moore's contribution, but his office confirmed he will not be attending the funeral.

At least 16 other current Labour Party MPs are also expected to attend, along with a sprinkling from the other parties and several of Moore's former colleagues.

Moore was Minister of Trade and held several other cabinet positions in the fourth Labour Government (1984-1990), and eventually became Prime Minister in 1990, just 59 days before the election.

The party suffered a heavy loss but Moore is generally credited with limiting the damage.

Ardern heads a long line-up of speakers for the funeral. It also includes former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, Moore's fellow Cabinet minister Bill Jefferies, and his protege Clayton Cosgrove.

Moore was a leading Cabinet supporter of the open-market deregulated economy created by Finance Minister Roger Douglas following the election in 1984. But unlike Douglas, Richard Prebble, Michael Bassett and others he remained loyal to the Labour Party when the reforming zeal evaporated in the late 1980s and 1990s.

"I'm tribal Labour," he always said.

Moore has not been given a state funeral. Ardern explained last week that state funerals are reserved by protocol for heads of state and Prime Ministers who die in office. The funeral is, instead, a "public funeral", to which everyone is invited.

It will take place at Dilworth School because Moore went to school there. It starts at 2pm and a large hall is being set up for members of the public.






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