Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand


The Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 10 December 1999 to 19 November 2008. Labour Party leader Helen Clark negotiated a coalition with Jim Anderton, leader of the Alliance Party. While undertaking a number of substantial reforms, it was not particularly radical compared to previous Labour governments.

Fifth Labour Government
Ministry of New Zealand
1999–2008
Ministry in October 2005
Date formed10 December 1999
Date dissolved19 November 2008
People and organisations
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralSir Michael Hardie Boys (1999–2001)
Dame Silvia Cartwright (2001–06)
Sir Anand Satyanand (2006–08)
Prime MinisterHelen Clark
Deputy Prime MinisterJim Anderton (1999–2002)
Michael Cullen (2002–2008)
Member partyLabour Party (1999–2008)
Alliance Party (1999–2002)
Progressive Party (2002–08)
United Future (2002–08)
Green Party (2005–08)
New Zealand First (2005–08)
Opposition partyNational Party
Opposition leader
History
Election(s)
Legislature term(s)
Budget(s)
PredecessorFourth National Government of New Zealand
SuccessorFifth National Government of New Zealand

Overview


The previous government, the fourth National government, had been in power since 1990. It was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms, and was bedevilled by weakness and instability. In the 1999 general election, the Helen Clark-led Labour Party defeated the National Party easily, becoming the largest single party in the House of Representatives. Labour formed a minority coalition government with the left-leaning Alliance party, supported by the Green Party.

During its first term, the government pursued a number of reforms. The controversial Employment Contracts Act was repealed, replaced by an Employment Relations Act more friendly to unions and collective bargaining; a state-owned bank, Kiwibank, was created at the behest of the Alliance; a majority stake in the national airline, Air New Zealand, was purchased; and the public health sector was reorganised with the re-establishment of partly elected District Health Boards. Closing the Gaps, an affirmative action strategy targeting socio-economic inequalities between Māori and Pacific Island ethnic groups and other groups, was a particularly controversial reform.[1] The policy was widely criticised for unfairly privileging Māori, leading to calls for "one standard of citizenship" for all New Zealanders.[2]

With the disintegration of the Alliance in 2002, Helen Clark called a snap election, even though she still had the confidence of the House. Labour handily won the election. The Alliance failed to return to parliament, although a rump returned as Jim Anderton's Progressives. Labour formed a coalition with the Progressives, and turned to the centrist United Future party for confidence and supply. This second term was notable largely for its social and constitutional legislation, with the Government establishing a Supreme Court and ending appeals to the Privy Council, decriminalising prostitution, and providing for civil unions, the latter two changes in particular supported by the Green Party and opposed by United Future. The Government was also faced in this term with the foreshore and seabed controversy. While Labour, in cooperation with the New Zealand First party, eventually resolved the legal dispute by vesting foreshore and seabed title in the Crown, a dissident Labour minister, Tariana Turia, formed the Māori Party, while on the other side of the spectrum a resurgent National Party, now under former Reserve Bank governor Don Brash, became considerably more popular. In the 2005 election, the Government was returned with a slim margin on the strength of the Working for Families assistance package and financial assistance to students, benefiting also from mistakes in National's campaign.

Helen Clark moved even more to the centre, enlisting support for her Government from both New Zealand First and United Future. Almost immediately, the Government parties became involved in a protracted funding scandal, having apparently used public money for party political purposes during the election campaign. A heavy-handed attempt at campaign finance reform later in this term also harmed the Government, which by now appeared tired and at a loss for direction, although it did succeed in implementing a wide range of social and economic reforms during its time in office.[3][4]

In a 2000 feature article "Siege of Helengrad",[5] The Australian newspaper wrote that Clark's "uncompromisingly autocratic and pervasive leadership has seen New Zealand dubbed Helengrad".[6] In January 2008, the term 'Helengrad', "a noun used to describe the iron grip of New Zealand's prime minister over Wellington", was reported as having made Australia's Macquarie online dictionary among 85 other new words.[7]

In the 2008 election, the Labour Party lost convincingly to National, and the government was succeeded by the National Party led by John Key as Prime Minister.

Significant policies


Economic

Constitutional

Treaty of Waitangi

Treaty settlements:

Aspects of the Clark-led governments actions in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi is shown through settlements.

  • Treaty 2U exhibition funding[10]
  • New Zealand School Curriculum launch[11]
  • Moriori heritage and Identity preservation[12]
  • Te Arawa Apology[13]
  • Te Uri O Hau[14]
  • Waitangi Day Commemorative Fund[15]
  • Fisheries Scholarship[16]

Social policy

  • Within 3 weeks of taking office, the government had announced an increase in the minimum wage, removed the interest on student loans for full-time and low-income students while they were still studying, announced the reversal of accident compensation deregulation, and introduced legislation to increase taxation for those on higher incomes.[17]
  • Introduced paid parental leave of 12 weeks (2001), increasing to 14 weeks by the end of the government.[18]
  • The Working for Families package was introduced in 2004, which significantly improved social welfare assistance for low-income families and contributed to a reduction in child poverty from 28% in 2004 to 22% in 2007.[19]
  • The wage-related floor of the state pension was restored.[20]
  • The Housing Restructuring Amendment Bill (2000) provided for income-related rents and set them at 25% of household income making community housing much more affordable than it had become under the previous Government's market rental strategy.[21]
  • Equity Funding was introduced (2002), which provided additional funding to community-based ECE services most in need.[21]
  • Research funding was increased.[21]
  • The New Zealand Transport Strategy (released in December 2002) provided increased funding for initiatives to promote the use of buses, trains, cycling and walking.[21]
  • The minimum wage was increased by more than 5% each year (well above the rate of inflation) during the labour-led government's second term.[21]
  • The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act (2002) served to make the principal Act more comprehensive by covering more industries and more conditions.[21]
  • The ring-fencing of mental health money and the creation of more than 800 FTE mental health staff positions see this promise coded as fulfilled representing a 100% fulfilment rate for this policy area.[21]
  • ICT was expanded to students in remote areas so they could receive specialist teaching.[21]
  • The Holidays Act (2003) entitled employees to receive "time and a half" for working on any statutory holiday from 2004 onwards and provided for four weeks' annual leave from 2007 onwards.[22]
  • Passed the Prostitution Reform Act 2003
  • Passed the Property (Relationships) Act: treats de facto relationships the same as after the breakup of legal marriages, unless the individuals in the relationship contract out of the Act;
  • Civil Union Act 2004
  • Supported the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007, which repealed and replaced section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which allowed "reasonable force" in the discipline of children.
  • National Statement on Religious Diversity (2007)
  • National Superannuation payments for married couples were increased (2000).[23]
  • A Parental Tax Credit was introduced (2000).[23]
  • A Child Tax Credit (which replaced the independent Family Tax Credit) was introduced (2000).[23]
  • A Family Tax Credit (which was formerly the Guaranteed Minimum Family income) was introduced (2000).[23]
  • A Modern Apprentices initiative was introduced to develop technological skills (2000).[23]
  • The Family Start programme was expanded (2000).[23]
  • Annual inflation to benefits was introduced (2000).[23]
  • Closing the Gaps policy platform introduced (2000).[24]
  • The Social Security Amendment Act of 2001 introduced various changes such as "disestablishment of the Community Wage, re-establishment of an unemployment benefit and non-work-tested sickness benefit, and the abolition of the work capacity assessment process".[23]
  • The Social Security Amendment Act (2006) established three streams for reintegrating beneficiaries into the larger community. These included a work support stream for the unemployed, a work support development stream for most other beneficiaries, and a community support stream for a small group to be exempted from work, training or planning requirements.[25]
  • Income-related rents for state-owned housing were restored (2000).[23]
  • A social allocation system was introduced and implemented with the income-related rents scheme(2000).[23]
  • Vacant sales were frozen and the Home Buy programme was ended (2000).
  • Bulk funding for schools was ended (2000).[23]
  • Expenditure was increased, or newly allocated, for the reduction of attrition of students from school, tertiary education subsidies, Maori and Pacific peoples' teacher recruitment, and Homework Centres (2000).[23]
  • Interest on student loans while students are studying was abolished, while the decision of the Fourth National Government to increase the student loan repayment rate was reversed (2000).[23]
  • Interest on student loans abolished for borrowers who remain in New Zealand (or studying overseas).[26]
  • Tertiary student fees were kept stable (2001).[23]
  • Expenditure for early childhood education was increased (2001).[23]
  • The National Certificate of Educational Achievement was established (2001).[23]
  • New funding was provided for principals' leadership and professional development (2001).[23]
  • An In Work Payment was introduced to replace the Child Tax Credit.[25]
  • The ministries that handled work and income and those that did social policy were merged to create a new Ministry of Social Development (2001).[25]

Health

Environment

National identity

  • Completed Establishing a fully New Zealand-based honours system (2000).

Foreign affairs

Appointments


The following positions were appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Government:

Governor-General

Supreme Court

With the creation of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 2003, the government appointed the first full bench of the Court.

Acting judges were also appointed from the retired judges of the Court of Appeal:

Court of Appeal

The government appointed three presidents of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand:

Formation


The Fifth Labour government was elected in the 1999 general election, after entering a coalition with the Alliance Party and a confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party. Labour managed to increase their percentage of the votes by 10.5% and won 12 more seats than in the 1996 election.[33] With this coalition in place the Labour Party returned to government for the first time in nine years,[33] and Helen Clark became New Zealand's first elected female Prime Minister.[34] The 1999 election also became Labour's first successful MMP election.[33]

The 2002 election


The 2002 Election was held a few weeks before the Parliamentary term elapsed.[35] This had only occurred twice before in New Zealand's political history, in 1951 and 1984.[36] The Government cited the collapse of the Alliance Party, with whom they had entered a coalition in 1999 as the reason for the earlier date. The Alliance Party had split after Jim Anderton, their leader, left to form the Progressive Coalition Party.[37] However, some critics believe that Labour could have continued to govern for the remaining few weeks. They say that the election was called early to capitalise on high opinion poll ratings before they could be undermined by a potential softening in the New Zealand economic performance.[35]

After initial polls indicated Labour may have enough votes to govern alone, a feat which has never occurred under MMP in New Zealand, they won 41.3% of the vote and 52 seats. Although this meant they improved on their results in the 1999 election, it was not enough to govern alone.[35] As a result, Labour entered a coalition with the new Progressive Coalition Party. Additionally, they entered a confidence and supply agreement with United Future.[35] Labour's success was highlighted by the National Party's demise as they accrued a record low 20.9% of the vote.[35]

The 2005 election


After some initial doubt as to what date the election would be held, 17 September was the chosen day.[38] After falling behind National in the initial opinion polls, Labour fought back to obtain 41.1% of the vote. Although this saw a 0.2% decrease from the previous election, it still saw them sit ahead of National by 2%.[38] The 2005 election saw a dramatic fall in the success of the minor parties. New Zealand First and United Future each won less than half of the percentage of total votes they achieved in 2002.[38] In order to reach the required majority, Labour entered confidence and supply agreements with New Zealand First and United Future. This was done in addition to a coalition agreement with the Progressive Coalition Party, of whom only Jim Anderton obtained a seat.[38]

The newly formed Maori Party accrued four seats.[39] After only being formed in 2004 as a result of the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act they oversaw a successful campaign based on a critical assessment of Labour's record with Maori issues.[38] Their success was highlighted by the decline of ACT New Zealand, the Progressive Coalition, and United Future who each won only a single seat each.[39]

Defeat


Election results


The following table shows the total votes* for Labour, plus parties supporting the Labour-led government. For more details of election results, see the relevant election articles.

Election Parliament Seats* Total votes* Percentage Gain (loss) Seats won* Change Majority
1999 46th 120 1,066,618 51.64% - 66 - 6
2002 47th 120 1,150,911 56.65% +5.01% 69 +3 9
2005 48th 121 1,152,735 50.65% -6.00% 61 -8 1*

* 'Votes' means party votes only. 'Seats' means both list and electorate seats.

Notes

  • Following the 1999 election, Labour formed a coalition with the Alliance Party, and gained support on matters of confidence and supply from the Greens.
  • Following the 2002 election, Labour formed a coalition with the Progressive Party, and gained support on matters of confidence and supply from United Future. The Greens also entered into a formal agreement with the government, but it was not as strong as the agreements covering confidence and supply it made in the preceding and following parliaments.[40]
  • Following the 2005 election, Labour formed a coalition with the Progressive Party, and gained support on matters of confidence and supply from New Zealand First and United Future. The Greens signed an agreement to abstain on votes of confidence and supply, giving the Labour-led Government a majority. The Māori Party also abstained on confidence and supply votes but had no formal agreement with the Government.

Prime minister


Helen Clark was Prime Minister from when the government was elected in 1999 until it was defeated by the National Party in the 2008 elections.

Cabinet Ministers


Portfolio Minister Party Start End
Prime Minister Helen Clark Labour 10 December 1999 19 November 2008
Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton Alliance 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Michael Cullen Labour 15 August 2002 19 November 2008
Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Jim Anderton Progressive 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark Labour 10 December 1999 19 November 2008
Attorney-General Margaret Wilson Labour 10 December 1999 28 February 2005
Michael Cullen Labour 28 February 2005 19 October 2005
David Parker Labour 19 October 2005 20 March 2006
Michael Cullen Labour 21 March 2006 19 November 2008
Minister of Broadcasting Marian Hobbs Labour 10 December 1999 23 February 2001
Steve Maharey Labour 23 February 2001 27 March 2001
Marian Hobbs Labour 27 March 2001 15 August 2002
David Cunliffe Labour 15 August 2002 19 November 2008
Minister for Civil Defence George Hawkins Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Rick Barker Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Commerce Paul Swain Labour 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Lianne Dalziel Labour 15 August 2002 21 February 2004
Margaret Wilson Labour 21 February 2004 21 December 2004
Pete Hodgson Labour 21 December 2004 19 October 2005
Lianne Dalziel Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee Alliance 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Chris Carter Labour 15 August 2002 31 October 2007
Steve Chadwick Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Consumer Affairs Phillida Bunkle Alliance 10 December 1999 23 February 2001
Jim Anderton Alliance 23 February 2001 15 August 2002
Judith Tizard Labour 15 August 2002 19 November 2008
Minister of Corrections Matt Robson Alliance 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Mark Gosche Labour 15 August 2002 19 May 2003
Paul Swain Labour 19 May 2003 19 October 2005
Damien O'Connor Labour 19 October 2005 2 November 2007
Phil Goff Labour 2 November 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Customs Phillida Bunkle Alliance 10 December 1999 23 February 2001
Jim Anderton Alliance 23 February 2001 15 August 2002
Rick Barker Labour 15 August 2002 19 October 2005
Nanaia Mahuta Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Defence Mark Burton Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Phil Goff Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Economic Development Jim Anderton Alliance 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Trevor Mallard Labour 19 October 2005 2 November 2007
Pete Hodgson Labour 2 November 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Education Trevor Mallard Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Steve Maharey Labour 19 October 2005 31 October 2007
Chris Carter Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson Labour 10 December 1999 21 December 2004
Trevor Mallard Labour 21 December 2004 19 October 2005
David Parker Labour 19 October 2005 21 March 2006
Trevor Mallard Labour 21 March 2006 3 May 2006
David Parker Labour 3 May 2006 19 November 2008
Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
David Benson-Pope Labour 19 October 2005 27 July 2007
Trevor Mallard Labour 27 July 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Finance Michael Cullen Labour 10 December 1999 19 November 2008
Minister of Fisheries Pete Hodgson Labour 10 December 1999 26 February 2004
David Benson-Pope Labour 26 February 2004 19 October 2005
Jim Anderton Progressive 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Foreign Affairs Phil Goff Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Winston Peters NZ First 19 October 2005 29 August 2008
Helen Clark Labour 29 August 2008 19 November 2008
Minister of Forestry Pete Hodgson Labour 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Parekura Horomia Labour 15 August 2002 19 October 2005
Jim Anderton Progressive 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Health Annette King Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Pete Hodgson Labour 19 October 2005 31 October 2007
David Cunliffe Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Housing Mark Gosche Labour 10 December 1999 12 May 2003
Steve Maharey Labour 12 May 2003 19 October 2005
Chris Carter Labour 19 October 2005 5 November 2007
Maryan Street Labour 5 November 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Immigration Lianne Dalziel Labour 10 December 1999 21 February 2004
Paul Swain Labour 21 February 2004 19 October 2005
David Cunliffe Labour 19 October 2005 11 November 2007
Clayton Cosgrove Labour 11 November 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Internal Affairs Mark Burton Labour 10 December 1999 13 November 2000
George Hawkins Labour 13 November 2000 19 October 2005
Rick Barker Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Justice Phil Goff Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Mark Burton Labour 19 October 2005 31 October 2007
Annette King Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Labour Margaret Wilson Labour 10 December 1999 26 February 2004
Paul Swain Labour 26 February 2004 19 October 2005
Ruth Dyson Labour 19 October 2005 5 November 2007
Trevor Mallard Labour 5 November 2007 19 November 2008
Leader of the House Michael Cullen Labour 10 December 1999 19 November 2008
Minister of Māori Affairs Dover Samuels Labour 10 December 1999 28 June 2000
Parekura Horomia Labour 28 June 2000 19 November 2008
Minister of Local Government Sandra Lee Alliance 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Chris Carter Labour 15 August 2002 19 October 2005
Nanaia Mahuta Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Police George Hawkins Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Annette King Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Revenue Michael Cullen Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Peter Dunne United Future 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister for Social Welfare Steve Maharey Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
David Benson-Pope Labour 19 October 2005 27 July 2007
Steve Maharey Labour 27 July 2007 31 October 2007
Ruth Dyson Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister for Sport Trevor Mallard Labour 10 December 1999 31 October 2007
Clayton Cosgrove Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister for State Owned Enterprises Mark Burton Labour 10 December 1999 21 December 2004
Paul Swain Labour 21 December 2004 19 October 2005
Trevor Mallard Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Statistics Paul Swain Labour 10 December 1999 13 November 2000
Laila Harré Alliance 13 November 2000 15 August 2002
John Tamihere Labour 15 August 2002 15 October 2004
Michael Cullen Labour 15 October 2004 21 December 2004
Pete Hodgson Labour 21 December 2004 19 October 2005
Clayton Cosgrove Labour 19 October 2005 5 November 2007
Darren Hughes Labour 5 November 2007 19 November 2008
Minister of Tourism Mark Burton Labour 10 December 1999 19 October 2005
Damien O'Connor Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Trade Jim Sutton Labour 15 August 2002 19 October 2005
Phil Goff Labour 19 October 2005 19 November 2008
Minister of Transport Mark Gosche Labour 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Paul Swain Labour 15 August 2002 26 February 2004
Pete Hodgson Labour 26 February 2004 19 October 2005
David Parker Labour 19 October 2005 21 March 2006
Annette King Labour 21 March 2006 19 November 2008
Treasurer Michael Cullen Labour 10 December 1999 19 November 2008
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Margaret Wilson Labour 10 December 1999 28 February 2005
Mark Burton Labour 28 February 2005 31 October 2007
Michael Cullen Labour 31 October 2007 19 November 2008
Minister for Women Laila Harré Alliance 10 December 1999 15 August 2002
Ruth Dyson Labour 15 August 2002 19 October 2005
Lianne Dalziel Labour 19 October 2005 5 November 2007
Steve Chadwick Labour 5 November 2007 19 November 2008

See also


References


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  2. Humpage, Louise (2006). "An 'inclusive' society: a 'leap forward' for Maori in New Zealand?". Critical Social Policy 26 (1): 220–242.
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  4. http://www.issa.int/Observatory/Country-Profiles/Regions/Asia-and-the-Pacific/New-Zealand/Reforms2
  5. Dore, Christoper (21 October 2000). "Siege of Helengrad". Weekend Australian. Australia. p. 25.
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  13. PM gives formal apology to Te Arawa. 2006. Retrieved from:https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/pm-gives-formal-apology-te-arawa
  14. Formal Apology to Te Uri O Hau. 2004. Retrieved from:https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/formal-apology-te-uri-o-hau
  15. Waitangi Day Commemorative fund. 2001. Retrieved from:https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/waitangi-day-commemorative-fund
  16. PM welcomes fisheries scholarship. 2001. Retrieved from:https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/pm-welcomes-fisheries-scholarship
  17. Keith Sinclair (1959). A History of New Zealand.
  18. Katherine Forbes. "Paid Parental Leave Under (New) Labour". Social Policy Journal of New Zealand (34).
  19. "Child Poverty Monitor: Technical Report". Child Poverty Monitor. 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
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  24. Cullen, Michael (2000). "Budget Speech and Fiscal Strategy Report 2000" (PDF). The New Zealand Treasury.
  25. Jane Silloway Smith (1 August 2010). "Looking Back to Look Forward: How welfare in New Zealand has evolved". Maxim Institute. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
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  30. Brooker, Jarrod (27 May 2006). "NZ forces on way to East Timor". New Zealand Herald.
  31. Young, Audrey. "Joint task force in Tonga this afternoon". New Zealand Herald. 18 November 2006.
  32. "NZ refused to send troops to Iraq for war 'it didn't believe in'". TVNZ. 7 July 2016.
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  40. "Government and Greens sign formal co-operation agreement". New Zealand Government. 26 August 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2016.

Further reading


  • Boston, Jonathan. Left Turn: The New Zealand general election of 1999 (Victoria U.P, 2000)
  • Boston, Jonathan; et al. (2004). New Zealand Votes: The 2002 General Election. Victoria University Press. ISBN 9780864734686.
  • Levine, Stephen and Nigel S. Roberts, eds. The Baubles of Office: The New Zealand General Election of 2005 (Victoria U.P, 2007)
  • Levine, Stephen and Nigel S. Roberts, eds. Key to Victory: The New Zealand General Election of 2008 (Victoria U.P, 2010)
  • Welch, Denis. Helen Clark: A Political Life (2009) 240pp