Reform: A Memoir, by Geoffrey Palmer
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Reform has been a recurring theme throughout Geoffrey Palmer’s life, not only during his career in politics as an MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister but also as a law professor and law practitioner.
In this memoir, Geoffrey Palmer recounts the events and forces that shaped him as well as his many adventures in reforming a wide range of institutions, laws and policies. He speaks of his early life and family background in Nelson and the eventful lives of his pioneering ancestors. He examines the intellectual influences on his thinking, particularly the nature of his education both in New Zealand and the United States.
Geoffrey Palmer chronicles his life according to the issues: accident compensation, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Law Commission, liquor law, Maori issues, parliamentary reform, the Resource Management Act, law and order, prisons, and local government reform are all discussed in-depth. International issues also come within the compass of the book, with extensive treatment of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy, the ‘Rainbow Warrior’ affair, the Gaza Flotilla incident and Palmer’s diplomatic efforts to reform the International Whaling Commission.
Meticulously detailed, engagingly written, and covering a wide variety of topics, Reform is essential reading for anyone interested in New Zealand legal and political history.