UPDATED: Former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton Dies [caption id="attachment_15742" align="alignleft" width="235"] Former Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, NZOM.[/caption] Former New Zealand deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Alliance, New Labour, and the Progressive Party, Jim Anderton died at around 8am on January 7 at Nazareth House, a rest home and hospice in Sydenham Christchurch. Jim Anderton had been ill for much of 2017 and was receiving palliative care. He was born on 21 January 1938 in Auckland. He began work as a teacher, then as a child welfare officer, a secretary for the Catholic diocese in Auckland, then moved into business as an export manager, and established his company Anderton Holdings Ltd. He was elected as a Manukau City councillor in 1965, was beaten by 7000 votes when he challenged Dove Meyer Robinson for the Auckland mayoralty in 1974. In 1977, Jim Anderton began his move toward enduring significance within the Labour Party. He became Labour Party president in 1979. In 1984, he campaigned, won, and became a Member of Parliament for Sydenham in Christchurch. He became Labour’s most outspoken critic of the economic agenda of former Labour finance minister Roger Douglas and those ardent engineers of New Zealand’s radical economic neoliberal dogma. In 1989 he was suspended from the Labour Party caucus after he refused to vote in favour of selling the Bank of New Zealand. He soon resigned from the party and formed New Labour, campaigned in the 1990 General Election and was reelected as the MP for Sydenham under the New Labour party’s policies of full employment, no state asset sales, and an interventionist economic platform. In 1991, the Alliance was formed around the New Labour party pulling together a cluster of small political parties that had no real show of parliamentary representation under the First Passed the Post electoral system. He became leader of the Alliance in 1993, stood down briefly in 1994, returned as its leader in 1995, and won 13 seats in the new Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) elected Parliament in 1996. In 1999, Labour and the Alliance agreed to form a coalition government led by the new Prime Minister Helen Clark. Jim Anderton became deputy Prime Minister. While in Government, Jim Anderton conceived and established Kiwibank. Perhaps it was his way of correcting the state sell off of the BNZ back in 1989 – a government decision that he did not support and one that had threatened political isolation and estrangement. In the New Zealand Herald, former Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was sceptical over Kiwibank, but admits she was wrong: “I was one of the sceptics. How do we know anyone will use this bank? But it was [a] very important part of Jim’s policy platform, and the truth was that the major banks had more or less exited so many smaller communities and suburbs. But there was still a post office, so putting Kiwibank into those facilities was a winner. “It did incredibly well. I was wrong and he was right on that one,” Helen Clark said. The coalition became unstable near the end of the three year term, largely due to New Zealand’s involvement in the US-led war on terrorism and the bombing of Afghanistan. The instability was driven by the Alliance’s party administrative element. Anderton, Matt Robson (the Alliance’s deputy leader, and Minister of Corrections and Associate Minister for Foreign Affairs in the 1999-2002 Clark Government) formed the Progressive Party, campaigned in the 2002 General Election and were reelected to Parliament. Anderton became Minister for Regional Development in the 2002-05 term. In 2005, Anderton was reelected as the sole Progressive MP and was sworn in as minister for a host of portfolios, including: Agriculture, Biosecurity, Fisheries, Forestry, Public Trust, Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister for Tertiary Education. He was reelected in 2008 and remained in coalition with Labour in opposition. In 2010 Jim Anderton campaigned for the Christchurch mayoralty but was unsuccessful in his bid. He retired from Parliament in 2011. https://youtu.be/ZXXG0jbuJCA https://youtu.be/_MbDxeFbQuM In the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours, Jim Anderton was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Parliament.
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