Jenny Shipley

(b. 1952) New Zealand National Party stateswoman, Prime Minister 1997–9

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(b. 4. Feb. 1952).

Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1997–9 Born in Gore, she graduated from Christchurch Teachers College in 1971. She settled down near Ashburton (central Canterbury), and became active in politics for the National Party. Shipley was elected as a Member of Parliament for her constituency in 1987. In 1990 she became Minister for Social Welfare and Women's Affairs, and in 1994 she became Minister for Health. As such, she was responsible for introducing a radical reform of the welfare system. This entailed a privatization of much of the health system, and a reduction in social security. She succeeded Jim Bolger as Prime Minister in 1997. She continued her predecessor's coalition with the New Zealand First Party for half a year, but when the coalition broke apart in 1998 she headed a minority government. She retired as Leader of the Opposition in 2001.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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