I have a pleasant memory of the only time I met Jim Anderton. One of his daughters was in the same class as me at Remuera Intermediate, and at the end of the year the Andertons hosted a class barbecue at their home just up the street from the school. I was a youthful political junkie and Jim Anderton was running for Mayor of Auckland. It was a pleasant evening and he seemed to be a lively and engaged parent (later struck by the awfulness of the suicide of another daughter).
Accounts suggest that Anderton did a good job of helping to revitalise the Labour Party organisation in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was, for the time, a moderniser, instrumental in helping reduce the direct influence of the trade unions in the party, and promoting the selection of some able candidates who hadn’t served time in the…
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