Robert Muldoon

Sir Robert David “Rob” Muldoon, GCMG, CH, PC (25 September 1921 – 5 August 1992), served as the 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984, as leader of the governing National Party. Muldoon had been a prominent member of the National party and MP for the Tamaki electorate for some years prior to becoming leader of the party. During his time as a member of parliament and as Prime Minister, Muldoon was responsible for a number of major changes to the New Zealand economy, including the introduction of decimal currency and the Think Big policies of the third National Government. Despite being a polarising figure during his time as Prime Minister, Muldoon’s impact on New Zealand society faded after his retirement.

Muldoon had remained National’s Finance spokesman when he became party leader, and as a result became Minister of Finance as well as Prime Minister-thus concentrating enormous power in his hands. He is the last to hold both posts to date. He had a reputation as combative, and many people in political positions and the media feared openly confronting him.[citation needed]
Muldoon during a visit to the US in 1977

Muldoon led National to victory in 1978 and 1981; however, in both elections, the Labour opposition received more popular votes across the country as a whole. This ambiguous mandate did not dilute Muldoon’s agenda, and he became more emphatic and autocratic as his time in power continued.[citation needed]

The “Muldoon Years” featured Muldoon’s obstinate and resourceful attempts to maintain New Zealand’s “cradle to the grave” welfare state, dating from 1935, in the face of a changing world. The country’s economy suffered the aftermath of the 1973 energy crisis, the loss of New Zealand’s biggest export market upon Britain’s entry to the European Economic Community, and rampant inflation.

Concerned about the use of foreign exchange during the 1970s’ oil crises, Muldoon supported a scheme whereby natural gas or a dual-fuel gas–petrol system could power cars. It is believed he also looked into a forex trading course to better understand how and if the foreign exchange market would affect the crisis. Muldoon’s 1979 budget introduced incentives to encourage the conversions, and New Zealand emerged as possibly the first country to have dual-fuel cars as a commonplace sight. However, the projection that oil prices would become ever-higher did not happen during this period. But that doesn’t mean to say that they won’t reach new heights again, or even stay at a decent threshold. When this happens, many people will be looking at how companies like EnergyFunders will allow you to make these important investments to diversify your portfolio. Who knows, it may just be the best thing that you ever do. Of course, some people might want to invest before the oil prices rise again. This would ensure that investors get the oil stocks whilst they’re at a good price. Perhaps visiting would be a good idea to learn more about oil stocks.

In 1980 an abortive attempt, known as the Colonels’ Coup, took place to replace Muldoon with his more economically liberal deputy, Brian Talboys. However, Talboys proved a somewhat reluctant draftee, and Muldoon saw the plotters off with relative ease. No other serious challenge to Muldoon’s authority occurred in his years as Prime Minister.

On 8 January 1977 when he was at Piha Beach for the re-opening of the Piha Surf Life Saving Club club-house after the Project 40 rebuild, he joined the Auckland Rescue Helicopter lifeguards jumping into the surf from the helicopter. He was lifted out of the water and transported back to the beach slung under the helicopter using the rescue strop connected into the cargo hook.[8]Muldoon became an Additional Member of the Companion of Honour in the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Queen’s Birthday Honours,[9] and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1984 New Year Honours,[10] only the second New Zealand Prime Minister (after Sir Keith Holyoake) to receive a knighthood while still in office.