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Eyre (front right) in 1963

Dean Jack Eyre (8 May 1914 – 19 May 2007) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party.


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1949–1951 29th North Shore National
1951–1954 30th North Shore National
1954–1957 31st North Shore National
1957–1960 32nd North Shore National
1960–1963 33rd North Shore National
1963–1966 34th North Shore National

Eyre was born in Westport, and educated at Hamilton Boys' High School and Auckland University. After university, he owned and managed from 1936 to 1970 Airco (Ltd) in Auckland, which manufactured washing machines and refrigerators, and assembled Vespa motor scooters.[1] Living in Honolulu when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he subsequently joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and later the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving in England and West Africa from 1941 to 1945. He held the rank of lieutenant.[1]

Eyre represented the North Shore electorate in the 29th to 34th parliaments (1949 to 1966), when he retired.[2] He served as a cabinet minister, first under Sidney Holland as Minister of Industries and Commerce (1954–1956), Minister of Customs (1954–1956), Minister of Social Security (1956–1957), Minister of Housing (1957),[3] Minister of Police (1956–1957),[4] and Minister of Tourist and Health Resorts.[5] In Keith Holyoake's first ministry in 1957, he carried on as Minister of Housing, and became Minister of Defence.[6] In Holyoake's second ministry, he was again Minister of Defence (1960–1966),[7] and Minister of Housing (1960–1963),[4] and was Minister of Tourism (1963–1966).[8]

He was then High Commissioner to Canada from 1968 to 1973, and 1976 to 1980. He would have gone to London instead of Ottawa if he had not made an injudicious remark about dropping a basinful of bombs on Vietnam during the 1966 election campaign.[9]

He died in Ottawa, Canada on 19 May 2007. His wife of 69 years, Patricia, had died in August 2006. They were survived by two sons and a daughter.[10]


  1. ^ a b Gustafson 1986, p. 310.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 195.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 87.
  4. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 127.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 132.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 88.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 89.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 128.
  9. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years: A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 96. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  10. ^ Dominion Post 4 June 2007 (page A6)


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Martyn Finlay
Member of Parliament for North Shore
Succeeded by
George Gair