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The Mighty Totara: The Life and Times of Norman Kirk [Kindle Edition]

David Grant

Kindle Price: £22.05 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

A major biography of arguably New Zealand's greatest modern political leaderAs Norman Kirk's body lay in state near the steps of Parliament on the day after his death on 31 August 1974, a kaumatua wailed 'the mighty totara has fallen'. The lament reflected what many New Zealanders felt about this big, commanding and loved leader, dead at just 51. More than 30,000 people filed past Kirk's casket over two days, and again in Christchurch, in a commemoration that matched only Michael Joseph Savage's for emotional power. Both men died in office, both men were humanitarians. Kirk also worked to move the Labour Party away from its cloth-cap heritage to embrace a much broader electoral compass, for it to become, in his words, 'the natural party of New Zealand'. Prime Minister of New Zealand between November 1972 and August 1974, Kirk's childhood was blighted with poverty, yet he thrived. He moved into a succession of manual trades, before booming into local body politics. His political rise was rapid, from mayor of Kaiapoi at the age of 30 to leader of the Labour Party within a few years. This book examines Kirk's political leadership; his successes, especially his stunning performances on the international stage, but also his later difficulties when the country's economy was rocked by international oil shocks. He deferred the 1973 Springbok tour and sent warships into the French nuclear testing zone near Mururoa Atoll, his government set up ohu and the established the DPB. He was New Zealand's first truly regionalist Prime Minister, drawing New Zealand closer to Asia and the Pacific, as the ties to 'mother Britain' slowly loosened. This landmark book takes the full measure of the remarkable New Zealander who was our last working-class Prime Minister.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 12825 KB
  • Print Length: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Random House New Zealand (7 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H89IJHW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #716,290 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it - to remind us what powerful, 5 Oct. 2014
By Ian Johnstone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well worth it - to remind us what powerful, humane constructive leadership is like
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Totara was cut down before it's time. 29 May 2014
By DJT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It adds to the history of New Zealand politics. A lot of the information I already knew, but there were pieces I did not know. It traces Norman Kirk's life concentrating on his political life, the ups downs and everything that goes with being the leader of a major political party in New Zealand. Reading the story you can see how "Big Norm" grew into the job and became a leader who was held in high regard by leaders from all around the world. I feel New Zealand and its people missed out on what New Zealand could have become under his leadership. You only have to realise that the superannuation scheme that was introduced would have smoothed out the difficulties that we have faced over the subsequent years on the ways to fund superannuation. The book show how Norman Kirk always put the well being of people first in his decision making.
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