He was the original Energiser Bunny, always bouncing, on the go, more ideas than there are words to express them, which was, frequently, part of the problem. Mike Moore, who died on February 2 and whose funeral was held yesterday in the chapel at Dilworth School, didn't always make sense.
He was a former prime minister, a former head of the World Trade Organisation, a former ambassador to the US, but David Lange, his sometime friend and more often rival, his prime minister, wrote that he had a mind wired by an Ukrainian electrician.
Moore was sparky. He was, for those who follow The Crown, the Princess Margaret of New Zealand politics. Although Clayton Cosgrove, his close friend and successor in the Canterbury seat of Waimakariri, insisted at the funeral that Moore wasn't bitter.
Towards the end he did seem that way. He was bouncy until he wasn't, felled by a stroke in 2015. By the time he was interviewed by Guyon Espiner for RNZ's series "The 9th Floor", in 2017, he was quiet, tired, short of enthusiasm . The face pallid, the skin loose. The darkly smudged eyes, always the thing you noticed first, were as pale as the rest.
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But the mind was sharp, and he was not quite bothering to hide that bitterness. At the funeral, his friend Mike Rann, former premier of South Australia, said he had a big cabinet for all his awards from overseas, including "a medallion the size of a hubcap". Honoured more in the world than in his own country.
But he got to be prime minister for only 59 days. Diplomatic compromise meant he got to run the WTO for only half a term. He had declared as a kid, his old friend and neighbour Scott Williams said, that he was going to be prime minister. He felt marked for it. But his party, which he loved and whose principles he fought for all his life, chose David Lange instead.
He was the man who would be king, except that he wasn't.
When Moore did get a go, just before the 1990 election, all he could do was save the party from annihilation. In 1993, still leader, he brought it back, close to victory, but not close enough. Helen Clark rolled him.
He told Espiner, "My heart was broken, I believed in the Labour Party so much, I couldn't believe in the lack of courage of these people ... In the end it's the silence of your friends you remember, not the misdeeds of those who dislike you."
At the funeral the wizards were there, and those who thought they might be wizards. Sir Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble, architects of the swiftly deregulated economy, arrived together. Sir John Key was there, Sir Bill English and Dame Jenny Shipley too. Don Brash and John Banks, and the actual Wizard, up from Christchurch for the occasion, velvet gown and Gandalfian hair and all.
Moore was Minister of Trade in the Lange/Douglas Government and he believed with all his heart in the benefits of deregulation and globalisation. But he did not agree with Douglas' plan for a flat tax and they parted ways. Douglas went off to found the Act Party; Moore, declaring himself "tribal Labour", stayed.
And his tribe came yesterday to honour him. The PM and half the Cabinet, many more MPs, from both sides. Simon Bridges, Winston Peters, James Shaw and Marama Davidson; only David Seymour, among the current party leaders, stayed away.
A bell clanged, once, and they carried in the coffin, draped in the New Zealand flag and a korowai, with a large bouquet bursting with red and yellow. They worked their way up the aisle to Jimmy Barnes, blasting out Working Class Boy.
Then it was Amazing Grace, with a thumping organ and the school choir full-throated: it's a boys' school and it was a heavy rendition.
Mike Rann, former South Australian Premier and an old friend, said with an outsider's insight that Mike Moore had helped New Zealand "remove the fear of failure and replace it with a desire to win". It's a good legacy, and not the sort of thing we often tell ourselves.
He told the story of a night in Washington when Moore's wife Yvonne had been giving him an injection, only to have the needle break off in his arm. They rushed Moore to hospital, still wearing the T-shirt he had on that evening: "I got bourbon faced in S*** Street in New Orleans".
Moore was that guy. Loved "salty jokes". Smoked all the time when the cameras weren't looking, "liked a beer", generated, as many of the speakers said, so many anecdotes they couldn't possibly tell in a chapel. His nephew Nick Moore said he'd give him a hug "and sometimes a kiss", but it was awkward.
Moore could also, said Rann, sing a glorious version of the ballad I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night, although perhaps not quite to the Joan Baez standard.
Jacinda Ardern called him a statesman, a hero, a progressive, a battler. "He was," she said, "as we like to say in Labour, a true believer." She used the word love, to describe what he felt for his first leader, Norman Kirk, and felt for others in the party, and what many felt for him.
"People were drawn to him, they loved him, they saw in him what it meant to be Labour."
It fell to Bill Jefferies, a colleague in the 1980s Cabinet, to describe the turbulence of Moore's time at the WTO. He got the job with his lobbying skills, camped in a room in Washington DC small enough for him to touch both sides at once.
They chose him because he was the guy who could go on TV, who could explain globalism. But it was a big ask: at Moore's first meeting, in November 1999, 40,000 anti-globalism protesters fought running battles with the police in the streets of Seattle.
Moore believed, with passion, that free trade would benefit everyone. He liked to say, "It was the way for workers to get their hands on the loot."
Kim Beazley, Australian former deputy PM and ambassador to the US at the same time as Moore, called Moore a genius. "The WTO was like seven wild dogs in a sack," he said. "Mike saved that body."
His father died when Moore was 5. He had polio as a child and testicular cancer as a young man. Most of the speakers said he had never stopped fighting everything, never lost his infectious good cheer while doing it.
Cosgrove said, "He forgave people who had wronged him, defended his opponents and welcomed them back."
He also said Moore believed in the value of the fight. "He'd say, 'Take no prisoners and shoot the wounded.'"
Moore rolled Geoffrey Palmer to become PM; Clark rolled him in the same way. It's a brutal truth of politics: when that's how it's done, only the people with the ability to wield a sharp enough sword get to win, and that's who you want to win. Well, it was the 20th century.
All the speakers paid tribute to Yvonne Moore, Mike's wife of 45 years. "He would have been a far lesser man, Yvonne," said Cosgrove, "if it was not for you."
Nick Moore said he wasn't going to make polished speeches like all the politicians, as if that mattered. Mike was "like that happy place in your memory". But unlike your favourite beach, he said, "It's still there and he's gone now."
Moore chose the music for his funeral, including Anthem from the musical Chess and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables. He listened to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah a lot in his last months, and the choir sang that too, with harmonies on the chorus, a little syncopation and a verse in Māori.
"But even though it all went wrong, I stand before the Lord of Song, With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah."
Jenny Shipley gave a reading from Psalms: "If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, Even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."
And then it was the Committal and a Blessing and everyone followed the coffin back into the hot sunshine.
They looked diminished. Roger Douglas is tiny now, and looks at the ground. John Banks is not much bigger, but he hasn't lost the grin. John Key looked almost anonymous.
Beazley had read from Henry Scott-Holland's poem, Death is Nothing at All: "I have only slipped into the next room. Nothing has happened ... Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you ... just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"
Is it comforting? Mike Moore was only 71. Outside, the boys did the school haka, 300-strong. The writer Tom Scott swore that Don Brash was clapping enthusiastically.
The hearse rolled away, out the gates and around the corner, the man who would be king tucked inside. Gone, and not forgotten.