Five things you need to know about former Prime Minister Jim Bolger

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 05:  Jim Bolger, Chairman of the Kiwi Bank, talks to the Media after announcing the name and face of New Zealands newest state owned enterprise Kiwi Bank, at a presentation in Wellington, Monday.  (Photo by Barry Durrant/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty/ file

The Government has appointed former Prime Minister Jim Bolger to lead a working group for a major policy to set up industry-wide pay agreements.

It's a bold move to appoint a former National Prime Minister, the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, and it's ruffled a few feathers across the political spectrum.

Mr Bolger took power at the age of 55 and led the country from 1990 to 1997. He was the National MP for the King Country and his political career spanned over 20 years.

The 83-year-old now resides in Waikanae near Wellington.

Here are five things you need to know:

  • Mr Bolger and the National Party took over power from Labour after it implemented a suite of economic reforms dubbed 'Rogernomics', and his Government bailed out the Bank Of New Zealand
  • His Government's first Budget was named the 'Mother of all Budgets', with his Finance Minister Ruth Richardson slashing benefits and cutting state spending
  • He negotiated a coalition Government with New Zealand First (led by Winston Peters) in 1996 after the first election under MMP
  • In an interview with RNZ's The 9th Floor series in 2017  he said that neoliberalism was a "failed experiment"
  • In 2001 he became chair of Labour's KiwiBank and in 2008 he became chair of Labour's KiwiRail, 15 years after his Government privatised the national rail service