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Clips (4)

  1. Part one of three from this televised debate.

  2. Part two of three from this televised debate.

  3. Part three of three from this televised debate.

  4. The credits for this televised debate.


Six days out from the 1984 snap election, PM Sir Robert Muldoon and Leader of the Opposition David Lange face off across a table in a TVNZ leaders’ debate chaired by Ian Johnstone. A tired Muldoon, on the back foot since calling the election two weeks earlier, attempts to claim the high ground of experience in office and on the international stage; but he is no match for Lange’s deftness and gravitas — and his parting shot of "I love you, Mr Lange" is a startling admission of defeat and one of the more remarkable moments in NZ political history.

Credits (7)

 Jim Curry
 Eli Viliamu
 Bill Ackland

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Comments (15)

 visual rank

visual rank | website

Interesting to see ... thank you it's well done :)

 K McLeod

K McLeod

Lange was the only politician who could foot it with the formidable Muldoon. Of the politicians today, only Winston Peters has that same air of bulldog type of confrontational debating skills as Muldoon. Lange was more of a skilled wordsmith.

 David L

David L

David Lange, a man of the people, ah David I knew you well. RIP big guy. The memories will never fade. Behind the scenes you did more for less fortunate folk, before, in and after politics.
A heart as big as the man.



What is interesting here is that nothing has changed in New Zealand in 30 years. There is still an underclass who are always struggling. And the irony is Labour, with the help of Bob Jones's party, help make the rich richer and the poor poorer. They also help John Key to get rich.



"I love you, Mr Lange" was not an admission of defeat, it was a sarcastic remark at Lange's summing-up comments which he cleverly directed at Muldoon instead of the audience.

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I love you, Mr Lange 
As the lights dimmed, the tears of the most solitary man I ever knew ended a programme I have never looked at again. 
It was a curious ending for a man who was once the master of such occasions. He went home and, as I later discovered, had his favourite lilies dug up from the garden of Vogel House, his official residence.