James Brendan Bolger ( BUL-jər; born 31 May 1935) is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997. Bolger was born to an Irish immigrant family in Opunake, Taranaki. Before entering politics, he farmed in the Waikato and was involved in Federated Farmers, a nationwide agricultural association. Bolger won election to Parliament in 1972, and subsequently served in several portfolios in the Third National Government. Following one unsuccessful bid for the party leadership in 1984, Bolger was elected as National Party leader in 1986. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990.

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  • James Brendan Bolger ( BUL-jər; born 31 May 1935) is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997. Bolger was born to an Irish immigrant family in Opunake, Taranaki. Before entering politics, he farmed in the Waikato and was involved in Federated Farmers, a nationwide agricultural association. Bolger won election to Parliament in 1972, and subsequently served in several portfolios in the Third National Government. Following one unsuccessful bid for the party leadership in 1984, Bolger was elected as National Party leader in 1986. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990. Bolger led the National Party to a landslide victory—the largest in its history—in the 1990 election, allowing him to become Prime Minister on 2 November 1990. The Fourth National Government was elected on the promise of delivering a "Decent Society" following the previous Labour government's economic reforms, known as "Rogernomics", which Bolger criticised. However, shortly after taking office, his government was forced to bail out the Bank of New Zealand and as a result reneged on a number of promises made during the election campaign. Bolger's government essentially advanced the free-market reforms of the previous government, while implementing drastic cuts in public spending. National retained power in the 1993 election, albeit with a much-reduced majority. Bolger's second term in office saw the introduction of the MMP electoral system. In the subsequent 1996 election National emerged as the largest party but it was forced to enter into a coalition with New Zealand First. Bolger continued as Prime Minister, however his critics argued that he gave the inexperienced NZ First too much influence in his Cabinet. On 8 December 1997, Bolger was effectively ousted as leader by his party caucus, and was replaced as Prime Minister by Jenny Shipley. After resigning as a Member of Parliament in 1998, Bolger became Ambassador to the United States and remained in this post until 2002. (en)
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  • 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand
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  • James Brendan Bolger ( BUL-jər; born 31 May 1935) is a New Zealand politician of the National Party who was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1990 to 1997. Bolger was born to an Irish immigrant family in Opunake, Taranaki. Before entering politics, he farmed in the Waikato and was involved in Federated Farmers, a nationwide agricultural association. Bolger won election to Parliament in 1972, and subsequently served in several portfolios in the Third National Government. Following one unsuccessful bid for the party leadership in 1984, Bolger was elected as National Party leader in 1986. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1986 to 1990. (en)
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