Kerry Burke

From Academic Kids

Thomas Kerry Burke (born March 24 1942) served as Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 1987 to 1990. He was a member of the Labour Party, and served throughout the second term of the Fourth Labour Government.

Burke was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 1960, he began three years of study at the University of Canterbury, after which he studied for a year at the Christchurch College of Education. He taught for a number of years in Rangiora and in Greymouth.

Burke was first elected to Parliament as the Labour MP for Rangiora in the 1972 elections. In the 1975 elections, however, he lost his seat, and remained outside Parliament for three years. In the 1978 elections, Burke was elected as the Labour MP for the West Coast electorate.

When Labour won the 1984 elections, Burke became Minister of Immigration and Minister of Employment. He held these roles until the 1987 elections, when he was chosen to replace the outgoing Gerard Wall as Speaker. He served in this role for three years, losing the Speakership when Labour lost the 1990 elections. He retired from Parliament at the following election.

He is currently chairperson of the Canterbury Regional Council (Environment Canterbury).

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