Sir Bill English KNZM
Former Prime Minister - New Zealand
Transforming public sector management and social policy
About the Speaker
Bill English was Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister from October 2008 to December 2016 and Prime Minister of New Zealand until the change of government in October 2017, prior to standing down from politics in March 2018.
Bill English guided the New Zealand economy through the global financial crisis to be one of the faster growing developed economies with sustainable government surpluses. He initiated tax reforms, partial floats of four government companies and financing the rebuild of Christchurch after the 2010 earthquakes. As Minister for Infrastructure he set up the National Infrastructure Unit and initiated New Zealand’s first PPP programme.
Bill English also focussed on public sector reform, balance sheet management and led the development and implementation of Social Investment, a world leading policy innovation for large scale social services. He oversaw significant investment in digitalising government and improving customer experience of public services.
Mr English was Minister of Health from 1996 to 1999 and has also held ministerial roles in education housing and revenue since his election to Parliament in 1990. He has a long-term interest in economic restructuring, sound microeconomic policy and social policy reform.
Bill English is married to medical practitioner Dr Mary English, and they have six children.