Simon William English, better known by New Zealanders as Bill, has served New Zealand and the National Party since his election to Parliament in 1990. Born in Lumsden in 1961 and educated at St Patrick’s College Silverstream he studied Economics at the University of Otago and English Literature at Victoria. He went on to work as a Treasury analyst before returning to the family farm in Dipton and standing in the seat known today as Clutha-Southland – a post he held until his decision in 2014 to stand as a List MP only.
As Finance Minister from 2008 until 2016, he oversaw one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, steering it through shocks including the Global Financial Crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes and returning the Government’s books surplus. He also focused on tackling New Zealand’s toughest social problems, including inequality, welfare dependence and the educational under achievement of Maori and Pasifika children, aiming to give all New Zealanders the best chance of succeeding. He is married to Mary, a GP, and they have six children.