24 August 2014
Mr Bolger entered Parliament in 1972 and served as a minister under Robert Muldoon. He became leader of the opposition in 1986.
When he became Prime Minister in 1990 Jim Bolger was described as a pragmatic and principled leader. ‘The Great Helmsman’, as he was nicknamed, quickly mastered Mixed Member Proportional (MMP), governing in coalition with New Zealand First. After leaving Parliament in 1998, Mr Bolger was ambassador to the United States.
More recently he has chaired Kiwibank and led the state-run railway system, KiwiRail. He is married to Joan and they have nine children.