Roger Kerr 1945 – 2011
As many of you know already, the always combative Roger Kerr has fought his last battle. He died on Friday night after a year-long illness.
Roger was on point for most of the reforms that constitute the opening up of post-Muldoon Fortress New Zealand, and the formation of the freer markets that were the result. He was singularly successful both in persuading New Zealand’s corporate moguls that ending protectionism was in their long-term interest, and that they should fund a permanent organisation, of which Roger became head, to promote the necessary “permanent revolution” for which Roger saw that first freeing up as just the beginning.
Unfortunately, that second revolution never came, being lost in the blancmange of spud-like Compromise, comradely Clarkism, and now Smile and Wave Nothingness. But never for a moment did Roger give up the battle.
He will be sorely missed. As Lindsay Perigo said of his departure, “The best tribute we can pay is to continue his valiant battle against statism.”
This 2011 interview with Lindsay, which would have been one of the last he gave, gives a taste of The Great Man:
And from Roger’s blog, which will never again host a Friday Graph, comes this announcement of a service to honour Roger’s life to be held on Thursday 3 November at 2.30pm at Old St Paul’s in Wellington.
A selection of public tributes to Roger:
- Roger Kerr: An Appreciation by Richard A Epstein
- George Mason University professor and Marginal Revolution blogger Tyler Cowen
- Prime Minister John Key
- The New Zealand Green Party
- ACT New Zealand leader Don Brash
- Liberty Scott
- Paul Walker
- Stephen Franks
- Lindsay Mitchell
- Greg Lindsay from Australia’s Centre for Independent Studies
- New Zealand Herald business columnist Fran O’Sullivan
- Cactus Kate
- Whale Oil