On the Tricot report

, which cleared the French Government of involvement in the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, had "but a passing acquaintance with the truth in parts".


"There is nothing more in a lawyer's training to make a practitioner a merchant banker than is contained in a plumber's apprenticeship."


Suing for defamation:

"If you cannot afford to sue, you are left with protestations of innocence, which fall on stony ground."

Trade talks

in "extraordinarily pleasant surroundings": "I often think about a Gatt round in Beirut. It would all be settled in half an hour."

On being made a Companion of Honour:

"It's not a high-class escort agency."

The Muldoon Government:

"We ended up being run very similarly to a Polish shipyard" adding: "We couldn't keep living on borrowed money - we're not the Cook Islands."


Jim Bolger:

When Bolger was Opposition leader, Lange once suggested his opponent had "all the intellectual rigour of an amoeba". He also accused him of "going round the country stirring up apathy".

Michael Laws:

"There is nothing likely to get you a bigger headline than attacking your own party."

Winston Peters:

He once described Winston Peters as the "only member of Parliament to have a concrete block named after him and I can understand that".


He also noted that Peters, not present to hear his valedictory speech to Parliament in 1996, "would have been with us today if he hadn't been detained by a full-length mirror".

Geoffrey Palmer's smile:

"Teeth that seemed as though they were borrowed from Phar Lap."

Warren Cooper:

"He wears a tie marked 'New Zealand' so he knows how to get home when he is abroad."

Helen Clark


while rising through the Labour ranks was "so dry she's combustible".

Jenny Shipley

, he suggested, might have what it takes to lead in tough times, but she would never get voted in as "people don't vote for self-flagellation".

Lange on Lange:

(valedictory speech on leaving Parliament in 1996) "I was quite obvious. I really only got here by the attraction of mass and I was an enormous acquisition to the people who bought 26-inch television sets." (He then weighted 28 stone - 177.8kg.)