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MP Rejoins Real World

4 April 2002

Max Bradford, former MP for Tarawera and Rotorua, and now on the National List, today announced his retirement from Parliament at the end of this parliamentary term.

"After 15 years in politics - 12 in Parliament, and three in various National Party positions - it is time to devote attention to my personal affairs, which is impossible as an MP or Cabinet Minister.

"I wish the National Party every success in the forthcoming election. A lot rests on its shoulders for the future of New Zealand.

"More importantly though, it will be the centre right that delivers the vision and practical policies needed to take New Zealand out of the swamp of mediocrity into which the Labour and the Alliance have led the country," said Mr Bradford.


Brief Career Summary for Max Bradford MP

PARLIAMENTARY CAREER Following the November 1999 election and the change of Government, Max Bradford returned to Parliament as National's List MP for Rotorua. Currently he is a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, and the party's spokesperson on defence. In the last National Government (1996-1999) he was Minister of Defence, Minister for Enterprise and Commerce, Minister for Tertiary Education, leader of the Government's Enterprise and Innovation team, and sixth most senior member of the Cabinet. His Enterprise and Commerce portfolio included responsibility for the Ministry of Commerce (including Energy and Industry) and the Department of Labour. He was responsible for co-ordinating and implementing the National Government's Bright Future package, which has become the basis for such initiatives as the Knowledge Wave Conference.

Mr Bradford has also been Minister of Revenue, Energy, Labour, Immigration and Business Development. He became a Cabinet Minister in December 1996, after winning the Rotorua seat for the National Party by nearly 6,000 votes in the October 1996 election.

From the time Mr Bradford entered Parliament in 1990 as the MP for Tarawera, he was involved in groundbreaking reforms in New Zealand's labour market, and in the areas of immigration and accident compensation.

As chair of Parliament's Labour Select Committee he steered through the Employment Contracts Act, the Immigration Act and the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act.

Mr Bradford was appointed chair of Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee in 1994 and was chair of National's Economic Caucus and Labour Caucus Committees. In 1993, he was appointed to the special Cabinet-Caucus committee to examine the deregulation of New Zealand Post, and a special taskforce to look at value added forestry in 1991 and 1992.


Mr Bradford received his tertiary education at the University of Canterbury where he obtained a Master of Commerce degree with honours in economics, business management and computer science.

He joined Treasury in 1966 and became section head in the energy, economics and industry divisions concentrating on the oil crisis. Between 1969 and 1973, Mr Bradford worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC as desk economist for Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark, and returned to the Treasury in 1974. While with the Treasury, Mr Bradford was a consultant to the Norwegian Central Bank (the Norges Bank) for development of their computerised economic analysis systems. He installed major macro-economic computer systems in the New Zealand Treasury, the Norges Bank and the New Zealand Department of Statistics. The systems eventually became the INFOS system in the Department.

Mr Bradford coordinated the 1976 Budget, working directly to the then Minister of Finance, Rt Hon Sir Robert Muldoon, and the Secretary of Treasury, Henry Lang. He was also responsible for wages policy and renegotiation of the State Services Employment Act.

Between 1978 and 1984, he joined the New Zealand Employers' Federation as Planning and Policy Coordinator and later became Director of Advocacy with responsibility for employers' annual wage negotiations, and managing a team of 40 employer advocates.

Mr Bradford was responsible for path breaking work on labour market reform in the employer movement, much of which was incorporated into the Employment Contracts Act. He was a member of the Industrial Relations Council and chief employers' negotiator on the 1978 Long Term Wage Reform Committee set up by the Government.

In 1985 Mr Bradford was appointed chief executive of the NZ Bankers Association, involved in financial sector deregulation as it affected trading banks. He introduced the private financial sector scheme to manage the 1985 farm debt crisis and was responsible for overseeing the overhaul of the commercial bank settlement clearing system in 1986. Between 1987 and 1989 Mr Bradford was Secretary General of the New Zealand National Party with responsibility for steering major reform through the party.

Between 1989 and entering Parliament in late 1990, Mr Bradford was a financial consultant and played a major role, through COACT, in defeating the then Labour government proposals to introduce a capital gains tax in New Zealand. He was a councillor in the Wellington division of the National Party throughout the period.

Mr Bradford is married to Rosemary and has two stepdaughters, India and Sacha. He lives in Rotorua and Wellington. October 2001

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