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Bob Tizard’s passing an end of an era

Labour Leader Andrew Little has expressed his deepest condolences to the family of former Labour MP and Deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard who died this afternoon.

Robert “Bob” Tizard was a Labour MP for 30 years, representing the seats of Tamaki, Otahuhu, Pakuranga, and Panmure. He was a Minister in both the Kirk and Lange governments and served as Deputy Prime Minister under Bill Rowling. He was made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2000 for his commitment to public service.

“Bob was a delight, he was great company. He had a mind like a steel trap – you were never left wondering what he thought, about anything,” Andrew Little says.

“Michel Cullen once described him as being one of the most gifted people to have sat in Parliament, noting he was capable of making an ‘absolutely superlative speech’, without notes.

“As Minister of Health during the Third Labour Government Bob secured more funding to reduce staff shortages and lower charges for patients, established the practice nurse scheme, significantly reduced waiting lists, established drug addiction treatment clinics, and increased subsidies for rest homes.

“As Minister of Finance - in pretty tough economic times – he was able to deliver lower tax rates for many on low incomes, brought in a standard tertiary bursary, and increased low cost lending for housing. Over the years he also had roles in Defence, Energy, Statistics, and Science and Technology.

“One of Bob’s daughters, Judith, served as a Minister in Helen Clark’s Government. He was hugely proud of her, as he was of all his children.

“The Labour Party sends their sincerest thoughts and condolences to his family and loved ones. Bob was one of a kind,” Andrew Little says.