About James Brendan Bolger
James Brendan "Jim" Bolger, ONZ (born 31 May 1935) was the 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1990 to 1997. Bolger was elected on the promise of delivering a "Decent Society" following the previous Labour government's economic reforms, known as Rogernomics. Shortly after taking office, his government was forced to bail out the Bank of New Zealand and as a result reneged on a number of promises made during the election campaign. His term in office saw the introduction of the MMP electoral system in 1996.
Bolger was born in Opunake, Taranaki, one of five children born to immigrants from Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland. He left Opunake High School at age 15 to work on the family farm.
In 1963 he married Joan Riddell, and they moved to their own sheep and beef farm in Te Kuiti two years later. During this time Bolger became involved in local farmer politics. In the late 1960s he was asked to accompany the then Minister of Finance Robert Muldoon to see for himself the difficulties faced by farmers in the area. As Bolger travelled around the district, he became experienced with Muldoon's adversarial style.