Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Elder was first elected to Parliament in the 1984 elections as the Labour MP for West Auckland, having previously made unsuccessful attempts in Helensville in the 1978 elections and the 1981 elections. He was re-elected in 1987 elections and the 1990 elections, and in the 1993 elections, was elected MP for Henderson. Within the Labour Party, Elder was a supporter of Mike Moore, and belonged to the more socially conservative wing of the party. When Helen Clark replaced Moore as party leader, Elder remained aligned with Moore, and when suggestions arose that Moore would found a new party, Elder was considered likely to follow him. In the end, Moore remained with Labour, but Elder was still dissatisfied. On 4 April 1996, Elder left the Labour Party to join New Zealand First, a centrist conservative party led by Winston Peters.
In the 1996 elections, Elder was re-elected to Parliament as a list MP for New Zealand First, having unsuccessfully contested the Waipareira electorate. When New Zealand First formed a coalition with the governing National Party, Elder was appointed to Cabinet, becoming Minister of Internal Affairs , Minister of Police, and Minister of Civil Defence. When New Zealand First's coalition with National began to collapse, however, Elder joined the group of MPs who quit New Zealand First and continued to offer support to the government. He officially left New Zealand First on 18 August 1998. In exchange for his continued support for the government, Elder was allowed to remain Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Civil Defence, although he was no longer part of Cabinet.
Later, Elder joined with four other former New Zealand First MPs to found the Mauri Pacific party. Elder's participation in the group can be seen as surprising, as his political views did not closely match the radically multiculturalist policies of the new party. Some commentators have suggested that Elder saw the party as his last chance for political survival. Regardless, Elder eventually chose not to seek re-election, and retired from politics at the 1999 elections.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details