Story: Premiers and prime ministers

David Lange

David Lange

Long before extreme makeovers infested prime-time television, prime ministerial wannabes began to tweak their images to accommodate the new medium. David Lange’s change was the most drastic. In 1979 (left) Lange was a large man sporting clunky spectacles and unflattering suits. By 1984 (right) surgery had slimmed him down considerably, and his dress sense had improved too. Lange later denied that it had anything to do with image management. ‘When I was a heap I did well in politics.’

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1979/3958/26 (left); EP/1984/1846 (right).
Photograph by Merv Griffiths

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gavin McLean, 'Premiers and prime ministers - Towards modern leadership', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Gavin McLean, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Dec 2016