The dying of Sir Michael Cullen has introduced an outpouring of tributes, laments and remembrances from pals, colleagues and politicians of all stripes.
Sir Michael left politics in 2009 after a 30-year profession, having been a Labour finance minister for 9 years, deputy prime minister for six and an in depth confidant to Helen Clark.
A public memorial service can be held at Tāneatua sooner or later, and a personal household funeral service will happen as quickly as it might probably happen, with gatherings for funerals not permitted beneath alert stage 4 restrictions.
‘He wished to make a distinction’ – Helen Clark
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark labored with Sir Michael for 40 years and informed RNZ his dying was not surprising nevertheless it was very very unhappy information.
“He was an totally reliable deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. You can throw any massive and knotty downside at him, he would discover a resolution for it,” she stated.
“My ideas are with Anne Collins – Michael’s accomplice – and his household. This isn’t surprising nevertheless it leaves an enormous hole of their lives, and an enormous hole in our nation’s life given the very substantial contribution that he made.
“With out his braveness, willpower, insights – brilliance, actually – we’d not have been in a position to do most of the issues that we had been in a position to do as a authorities.”
She stated he got here from humble origins and was a big-picture thinker who wished to make a distinction, to raised individuals’s lives.
“He was deeply dedicated to creating New Zealand a spot that everybody might really feel happy with and really feel they’d a stake in. A really dedicated social democrat – that comes via strongly in his ebook – I believe that was what drove him.
“I believe after we keep in mind Michael we’ll keep in mind the general public face which was the witty, the intelligent, the fast on his face in Parliament. We also needs to do not forget that he was a shy particular person, he lived a really modest way of life, really fairly a humble particular person and I believe the best tribute we are able to make to him is that he made a distinction for the higher.
“If every of us did that, our world could be a greater place.”
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff entered Parliament with Sir Michael in 1981 and spent greater than 30 years working with him, and stated he was one of many sharpest minds there.
“It is actually unhappy information … his fast wit, he was a terrific debater,” he stated.
“He was constant, he labored laborious, he was on prime of his portfolios – significantly the finance portfolio – and he was one of many strengths, I believe, of the Clark Labour authorities.”
The legacy of Sir Michael was implausible and left New Zealand in nice form financially to have the ability to deal with the worldwide monetary disaster and the Christchurch earthquake, Goff stated.
“He was not solely the minister of finance … he was additionally a strategic chief and labored intently with Helen and the remainder of us… If there was an issue and anyone wanted to be pulled out of their regular portfolio obligations to give attention to that downside and discover a resolution to it, Michael was the individual that Helen would go to.
“In addition to being remembered for these issues I am positive that he would have wished to be remembered for the sturdy values that he held and his large dedication to having a good society.”
‘Probably the most influential figures’
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson stated in an announcement the federal government was mourning Sir Michael’s dying.
“New Zealand is a lot the richer, in each sense of the phrase, for Michael’s life. He gave his life to creating this place higher for everybody,” Ardern stated.
“He was a terrific buddy to me and to most of the Cupboard and Labour caucus. We are going to miss him terribly, and we’re sending all our like to Anne and his household.”
“Sir Michael was probably the most influential figures in New Zealand politics over the past 40 years. Clever, humorous and type he left a major legacy for the nation.”
Robertson stated Sir Michael’s contribution to New Zealand’s long-term financial prosperity – because the architect of KiwiSaver, NZ Tremendous Fund and Working for Households – was huge.
“Every of those insurance policies on their very own would outline a political profession, however taken collectively they symbolize probably the most vital contributions any politician has made in current occasions,” he stated, “For Michael they’re solely a part of his extraordinary contribution to New Zealand.”
He stated he would additionally keep in mind Sir Michael for small acts of kindness.
“He was at all times prepared with a chunk of recommendation, an perception or only a shaggy dog story. He additionally helped many Labour MPs out, typically behind the scenes, and never wanting any publicity.
“He was loyal to the Labour Occasion, but additionally not afraid to voice his issues.”
‘A revered adversary’
In an announcement, Nationwide chief Judith Collins stated Sir Michael was a consummate politician, a revered adversary and a person of absolute conviction.
“Most significantly, he was a person of unusual and uncompromising precept,” she stated.
“When he retired from politics in 2009, such was our respect for him we referred to as on his huge expertise and data to chair New Zealand Publish and Kiwibank, in addition to appointing him to guide a wide-ranging evaluate of New Zealand’s intelligence companies.
“He can be remembered as one in every of our only ministers of finance, with a long-term view of what wanted to be finished to boost to New Zealand’s financial and social prosperity and stability. His ardour was to make New Zealand a greater place for everybody.
“Sir Michael’s eager mind, wit and huge experience can be missed by us all, and our ideas and condolences are together with his household.”
In a tweet, she stated she was saddened to be taught of his passing, and the celebration prolonged deepest condolences to his household whereas acknowledging his a few years of service.
I’m saddened to be taught of the passing of Sir Michael Cullen. The Nationwide Occasion want to prolong our deepest condolences to Sir Michael’s household and acknowledge the various years of service he gave to NZ.
— Judith Collins (@JudithCollinsMP) August 19, 2021
ACT chief David Seymour stated Sir Michael was a “cautious Finance Minister and quick-witted politician”, and thanked him for advocacy on the Finish of Life Alternative Invoice.
ACT sends condolences to the household of Sir Michael Cullen. He was a cautious Finance Minister & fast witted politician. We had been particularly grateful for his courageous advocacy for Finish of Life Alternative whereas he was unwell. We want his family members privateness and comfort as they keep in mind him.
— David Seymour (@dbseymour) August 19, 2021
In a tweet, Greens co-leader James Shaw stated the celebration was significantly saddened, and Sir Michael had left an everlasting legacy.
We’re significantly saddened to listen to that Michael Cullen has handed away. He left an everlasting legacy, together with Kiwisaver, the Tremendous Fund, and eradicating curiosity from scholar loans. He can be significantly missed by his household and pals and our colleagues within the @nzlabour celebration.
— James Shaw (@jamespeshaw) August 19, 2021
Extra twitter responses
Former Labour chief David Cunliffe:
Nationwide’s Overseas Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee:
Unhappy to listen to this morning of Sir Michael Cullen’s passing. While we didn’t at all times agree politically, I revered him as a terrific Parliamentarian. My ideas and prayers are together with his household.
— Gerry Brownlee (@GerryBrownleeMP) August 19, 2021
Former Nationwide minister Steven Joyce:
RIP Sir Michael Cullen. We had been clearly not on the identical facet of politics and our respective occasions in parliament solely crossed over by a number of months, however I loved working with him on Japanese BOP Growth and different areas submit his retirement. An unstinting servant of NZ.
— Steven Joyce (@stevenljoyce) August 19, 2021
Former United Future chief Peter Dunne:
Very unhappy information re Sir Michael Cullen. A large of New Zealand politics – Kiwisaver, the Cullen Fund, Working for Households amongst his legacy. I loved his wit and intelligence. My deepest sympathy to his spouse Anne and their household. Michael can be missed however by no means forgotten
— Peter Dunne (@honpeterdunne) August 19, 2021
Former MP for NZ First, Mauri Pacific and Nationwide Tau Henare:
So unhappy to see the dying discover of Sir Micheal Cullen. He was one of many Labour celebration’s intelligent males. Moe Mai ra e te rangatira Micheal. Haere Okioki koe. #RIP
— WestSide 8345 (@tauhenare) August 19, 2021
Former Wellington mayor Justin Lester:
Saddened to listen to of the passing of former Deputy PM Sir Michael Cullen. He was a reformist Finance Minister and leaves us a legacy of KiwiSaver, which is able to underpin NZ’s economic system and capital markets for many years to return. RIP Sir Michael and arohanui to Anne and whānau.
— Justin Lester (@justin_lester) August 19, 2021
Musician and documentarian Moana Maniapoto:
So unhappy to listen to of Sir Michael Cullen’s passing. Actually loved attending to know him through the making of #TheNegotiators. Such nice firm, so witty. This week sucks. pic.twitter.com/3OUXRLH3xs
— Moana Maniapoto (@moanatribe) August 19, 2021
Wellington lawyer and former journalist Linda Clark:
So extremely unhappy to listen to of Sir Michael Cullen’s dying. He was an excellent MP and one of many funniest individuals I’ve ever met. Sharp as a razor, devoted to serving to others. His legacy is big. Verify your Kiwisaver steadiness at the moment and thank him.
— lindaclark1 (@lindaclark1) August 19, 2021
Poet and author Invoice Manhire:
There are a lot larger issues he’ll be remembered for, however we would not have the Poet Laureate place connected to the Nationwide Library of New Zealand @NLNZ with out Michael Cullen. https://t.co/JYPR1yntUa
— Invoice Manhire (@pacificraft) August 19, 2021
#Sir #Michael #Cullen #remembered #NZs #influential #figures
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