Bob Tizard

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The Right Honourable
Bob Tizard
6th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
10 September 1974 – 12 December 1975
Prime Minister Bill Rowling
Preceded by Hugh Watt
Succeeded by Brian Talboys
Member of Parliament
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Tamaki
In office
30 November 1957 – 30 November 1960
Prime Minister Keith Holyoake
Preceded by Eric Halstead
Succeeded by Robert Muldoon
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Otahuhu
In office
16 March 1963 – 30 November 1963
Preceded by James Deas
Succeeded by Seat abolished 1963
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Pakuranga
In office
30 November 1963 – 25 November 1972
Preceded by Created 1963
Succeeded by Gavin Downie
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Otahuhu
In office
25 November 1972 – 14 July 1984
Preceded by Re-established 1972
Succeeded by Seat Abolished 1984
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Panmure
In office
14 July 1984 – 27 October 1990
Preceded by Seat Created 1984
Succeeded by Judith Tizard
Personal details
Born (1924-06-07) 7 June 1924 (age 91)
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Dame Catherine Tizard (married 1951, divorced 1980)
Children Judith Tizard

The Right Honourable Robert James "Bob" Tizard, CNZM (born 7 June 1924) is a former Labour politician from New Zealand. He served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Health and Minister of Defence.

Early life and family[edit]

Tizard's 1949 Master of Arts thesis was "Mr H.E Holland's Blueprint for New Zealand and the World".[2] Harry Holland having been the first leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

While at university, Tizard met future wife Catherine Maclean, while he was president of the Auckland University Students Association.[3] On their second date Tizard told Maclean he was "going into politics. And I'm going to marry you."[3] They married in 1951, and Tizard unsuccessfully ran for the Remuera electorate later that year at the general election and again at the 1954 general election. He was finally successful at the 1957 election, winning in Tamaki, but was defeated three years later by Robert Muldoon. The couple moved to Avondale and started a family, with his wife having four children in six years starting at the age of 21 with Anna, followed by Linda, Judith and Nigel. They moved in 1957 to Glendowie in the Tamaki electorate.

Tizard ran for and won the Pakuranga electorate at the general election in 1963. His wife then returned to University to complete her degree in Zoology,[3] and later began teaching at Auckland university.

The couple divorced in 1980.[3] Catherine Tizard was Mayor of Auckland from 1983 to 1990 and Governor-General of New Zealand from 1990 to 1996. He is the father of former Consumer Affairs minister Judith Tizard, who succeeded her father as the Member of Parliament for Panmure in 1990.

He married Beryl Vignale of Canada in 1989. The couple had been engaged during World War II.[4]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1957–1960 32nd Tamaki Labour
1963 33rd Otahuhu Labour
1963–1966 34th Pakuranga Labour
1966–1969 35th Pakuranga Labour
1969–1972 36th Pakuranga Labour
1972–1975 37th Otahuhu Labour
1975–1978 38th Otahuhu Labour
1978–1981 39th Otahuhu Labour
1981–1984 40th Otahuhu Labour
1984–1987 41st Panmure Labour
1987–1990 42nd Panmure Labour

Tizard was the Member of Parliament for Tamaki from 1957 to 1960, when he was defeated by National's Robert Muldoon.[3] He returned to parliament in a 1963 by-election in the Otahuhu electorate, but in the 1963 general election was elected MP for Pakuranga. In 1972 he became MP for Otahuhu again. In 1984 he became MP for Panmure, until he retired in 1990.

Cabinet minister[edit]

Tizard was appointed as Minister of Health when the Kirk Labour Government was elected in 1972. Following the death of Kirk in 1974, he became Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, replacing Bill Rowling (who the caucus elected Prime Minister) in both roles. As Minister of Finance, Tizard's budget introduced a number of progressive measures, such as an expansion of spending on education which provided a standard bursary for all students in tertiary studies.[5] In the Lange Government he held the Defence portfolio as well as the Science and Technology portfolio.

Life after politics[edit]

In 2009, at the age of 85, Bob Tizard was asked to speak, as a historian, on aspects of WWII at a dinner held to honour Captain Jack Lyon, a New Zealand war hero and former Labour Party Member of Parliament. An mp3 recording of the 25 minute speech is available here.[6]

In 2007 Tizard announced his candidacy for the Auckland District Health Board.[7] He was elected to the board, at the age of 83.[8]


  1. ^ International Biographical Centre (1989). Who's who in Australasia and the Far East. International Biographical Centre. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Mr H.E Holland's Blueprint for New Zealand and the World". Bob Tizard. 1949. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Catherine Tizard (2010). Cat Amongst the Pigeons, A Memoir. Random House. ISBN 978-1-86979-300-5. 
  4. ^ "NZ minister finally weds war-time sweetheart". Straits Times (Singapore). 29 September 1989. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  5. ^ A Lifetime In Politics: The Memoirs Of Warren Freer by W. W. Freer
  6. ^ "Jack Lyon – soldier, democrat, internationalist". Phil Twyford. Red Alert. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Wayne Thompson (28 August 2007). "Tizard's fighting fit to campaign at 83". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Errol Kiong (15 October 2007). "Bob Tizard back in political leadership role at the age of 83". The New Zealand Herald. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Eric Halstead
Member of Parliament for Tamaki
Succeeded by
Robert Muldoon
Preceded by
James Deas
Member of Parliament for Otahuhu
Constituency abolished, recreated in 1972
Title next held by
Constituency recreated after abolition in 1963
Title last held by
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Pakuranga
Succeeded by
Gavin Downie
Member of Parliament for Panmure
Succeeded by
Judith Tizard
Political offices
Preceded by
Lance Adams-Schneider
Minister of Health
Succeeded by
Tom McGuigan
Preceded by
Hugh Watt
Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Brian Talboys