- Phil Goff
name =Hon Phil Goff
caption =Phil Goff
birth_date =birth date and age|1953|06|22
residence =Clevedon, Auckland
order =35th Minister of Defence
19 October 2005
order2 =25th Minister of Foreign Affairs
5 December 1999
19 October 2005
party = Labour
27 November 1999
predecessor3 ="New electorate"
majority3=9,895cite web|url=http://2005.electionresults.govt.nz/electorate-28.html|title= Elections NZ 2005: Official Count Results — Mt Roskill]
spouse =Mary Ellen Goff
children =Three children
Philip Bruce Goff (born
22 June, 1953), generally known as Phil Goff, is the current Minister of Defence of New Zealand. He also serves as Minister of Corrections, Minister of Trade, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and Associate Minister of Finance.cite press release|publisher=New Zealand Government|date=31 October 2007|title=Ministerial List for Announcement on 31 October 2007|url=http://www.beehive.govt.nz/Documents/Files/Ministerial%20List.DOC|format=DOC]
Goff was born and raised in Auckland. His family was relatively poor, and his father wanted Goff to enter the workforce immediately after finishing high school. Goff, however, wished to attend university, a decision that caused him to leave home when only sixteen years old. By working as a freezing worker and a cleaner, Goff was able to fund himself through university, gaining an MA (with first class honours) in political studies at the
University of Auckland. In 1973, he was Senior Scholar in Political Studies, and also won the Butterworth Prize for law. While completing his MA, he lectured in Political Studies. He also briefly worked as an Insurance Workers Union organiser.
Member of Parliament
Goff had joined the Labour Party in 1969, the same year he left home, and held a number of administrative positions within the party. In the 1981 elections, Goff stood for Parliament in the Roskill electorate, and was elected.
Cabinet minister (1984 - 1990)
Three years later, when Labour won the 1984 elections, Goff was elevated to Cabinet, becoming its youngest member. He served as Minister of Housing and Minister of Employment. After the 1987 elections, Goff dropped the Housing portfolio, but also became Minister of Youth Affairs and Minister of Tourism. Later, after a significant rearrangement of responsibilities, Goff became Minister of Education. In the disputes between
Roger Douglas(the reformist Finance Minister) and more orthodox MPs, Goff generally positioned himself on the side of Douglas, supporting deregulationand free trade.
In the 1990 elections, Labour was defeated, and Goff lost his own parliamentary seat to
Gilbert Myles. While many commentators blamed Douglas's controversial reforms for Labour's loss, Goff said that the main problem had been in communication, not policy. Goff was appointed to a position at the Auckland Institute of Technology, and later accepted a scholarship to study for six months at Oxford University, but eventually decided to stand for parliament once again.
In the 1993 elections, Goff was re-elected as MP for Roskill.
Helen Clark, Labour's new leader, made him the party's spokesperson for Justice. In 1996, Goff was part of the group which asked Clark to step down as leader. Clark survived the challenge, and was advised by her allies to demote Goff, but chose not to do so.
Goff retained his seat in the 1996 elections, having elected not to be placed on Labour's party list.
Cabinet minister (1999 - present)
In the 1999 elections, which Labour won, Goff accepted seventh place on the party list, but also retained his electorate seat. In Clark's new government, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister of Justice. He retained this position after the 2002 elections. Following the 2005 elections Rt Hon.
Winston Peterswas made Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Goff was made Minister of Defence and Disarmament and retained the Trade portfolio.
In 2005, as justice minister, he passed legislation that dramatically strengthened laws condemning child pornography, and child sex.
Goff is one of the better known members of the Labour Party, and is often cited as a possible successor to Helen Clark (eg by
Chris Trotterin February 2008). The other possible successor, Steve Mahareyis retiring as an MP in 2008. While Clark and Goff differ substantially in their economic policies they are able to work relatively well together. Goff is a strong advocate of putting ethical issues before national interests.
Goff is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the
Global Panel Foundation-Australasia.
Phil Goff is married to Mary Ellen Goff, and has three children. He lives in the Auckland suburb of Clevedon.
* [http://www.globalpanel.org/ The Global Panel Foundation]
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