Our leading political biographer and author of the bestselling biography of Muldoon now writes a definitive life of another prime minister, Keith Holyoake. One of our great farming politicians, Holyoake was Prime Minister for over eleven years chiefly in the 1960s, Governor General from 1977 to 1980 and an MP for over 40 years. Though he was often derided as pompous and unprincipled, a master of consensus and compromise, Gustafson shows a man with astute understanding of people and political issues, skilled at defusing division and preserving order while encouraging gradual progress.He explores in depth Holyoake's performance as Minister of Foreign Affairs, his opposition to nuclear testing and his very reluctant commitment to assist the Americans in Vietnam. He shows his support of economic diversification and the strengthening of New Zealand's economy; of the liberalisation of the criminal law, of divorce laws, of licensing hours and of the establishment of an Ombudsman. He also covers Holyoake's impressive skills as a party politician and his love of hard work and lively debate, his pleasure in working with his hands especially at his property at Kinloch. Gustafson deftly sets this life in the context of a complex and changing society revealing Holyoake's ability to sense the spirit of the times, to exploit the luck that came his way and to stay in power for so long.
BARRY GUSTAFSON, former professor of politics at the University of Auckland, is the author of a number of books including a history of the National Party and acclaimed biographies of Savage and Muldoon.
Chapter 1. The Young Kiwi, 1904-31; Chapter 2. The MP for Motueka, 1932-38; Chapter 3. Motueka to Pahiatua, 1938-49; Chapter 4. Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister, 1949-57; Chapter 5. Kinloch; Chapter 6. Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, 1957-60; Chapter 7. Prime Minister, 1960-72; Chapter 8. Social Transformation, 1960-72; Chapter 9: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nuclear Testing.; Chapter 10. Decolonisation, the Commonwealth and Africa.; Chapter 11. Collective Security and Forward Defence in South East Asia; Chapter 12. Vietnam, 1960-65; Chapter 13. Vietnam, 1966-72; Chapter 14. China; Chapter 15. Britain's Entry to the EEC; Chapter 16. The New Zealand Economy, 1960-72; Chapter 17. From Prime Minister to Minister of State, 1972-77; Chapter 18. Governor General, 1977-80, and the Final Years, 1980-83