Mike Moore, Yvonne Moore; two for the price of one

brian cummings

Mike and Yvonne Moore’s supportive 45-year marriage was highlighted by several speakers at the former Prime Minister’s funeral on Friday, in Auckland.

“No tribute to Mike Moore can exist without a tribute to Yvonne who has been next to him since 1975, through all the great cycles of life,” said former Minister of Labour and Cabinet colleague, Bill Jeffries.

“There was no public Mike Moore without the private Yvonne Moore,” he said.

Close friend and former Cabinet Minister Clayton Cosgrove described them as “the golden couple”.

Cosgrove said Mike Moore would tell the voters “you got two for the price of one”.

The partnership of Mike and Yvonne Moore was made tangible by former St Bede’s rector, Fr Brian Cummings SM (pictured) who thanked them both for their generosity and availability to St Bede’s College, Christchurch.

Cummings, who got to know Mike and Yvonne Moore during his 20 years at the college, was one of the co-celebrants at the funeral and led the prayers of intercession.

He described their support as a great blessing for the school and the community.

Current and former Prime Ministers and politicians from both sides of the House of Representatives prayed and farewelled the  former Prime Minister from Dilworth College, Auckland.

As well as Jeffries and Cosgrove, other speakers at the funeral included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Western Australia governor Kim Beazley and former premier of South Australia and Mike Wran.

Described as a man with ideas, energy and the ability to see them through, Moore’s political career was probably more significant after he left New Zealand politics.

Beazley, whose previous roles include that of former Australian Ambassador to the USA, said he had an ally in Moore, who was a “man of genius.”

“He would never present an idea without an answer”, Beazley said.

Beazley said Moore’s genius meant he knew the right words to use in the right place and that despite an arrested formal education, he rose to the top of his profession; an international statesman, heading the World Trade Organisation.

Beazley described him as a person of “massive intelligence, empathy and above all insatiable curiosity, that beats formal book learning every time.”

Beazley said that Moore saved the WTO from virtual collapse and that in three years he redirected the organisation.

“Bringing China into that organisation (WTO) was a critical moment in World politics”, Beazley said.

Mike Moore left school at 14 and worked firstly as a labourer then a printer. He went on to

  • publish 12 books
  • receive 20 appointments to international organisations, including five adjunct or honorary professor positions
  • receive nine foreign orders, including the Pope John Paul II Annual medal (2002)
  • be awarded five honorary doctorates including one from the People’s University of China.


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