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Sir Douglas Arthur Montrose Graham KNZM (born 12 January 1942) is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1984 to 1999, representing the National Party.

Sir Douglas Graham

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Remuera
In office
14 July 1984 – 12 October 1996
Preceded byAllan Highet
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Minister of Justice
In office
2 November 1990 – 1 February 1999
Prime MinisterJim Bolger, Jenny Shipley
Preceded byBill Jeffries
Succeeded byTony Ryall
Attorney-General of New Zealand
In office
5 December 1997 – 10 December 1999
Prime MinisterJenny Shipley
Preceded byPaul East
Succeeded byMargaret Wilson
Personal details
Douglas Arthur Montrose Graham

(1942-01-12) 12 January 1942 (age 77)
Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyNational
RelationsKennedy Graham (brother)
Robert Graham (great-grandfather)

Early life and familyEdit

Graham was born in Auckland, and attended Southwell School and Auckland Grammar School. He obtained an LLB from the University of Auckland and became a lawyer, establishing his own practice in 1968. From 1973 to 1983, he lectured in legal ethics at the University of Auckland.

His great-grandfather Robert Graham was a member of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th New Zealand parliaments, from 1855 to 1868. In 2008, his brother Kennedy Graham was elected to parliament representing the Green Party.[1][2] His son, Carrick, is a public relations consultant.[3]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
1984–1987 41st Remuera National
1987–1990 42nd Remuera National
1990–1993 43rd Remuera National
1993–1996 44th Remuera National
1996–1999 45th List 6 National

Graham was elected to Parliament in the 1984 election as MP for the Auckland electorate of Remuera, replacing the retiring member Allan Highet.

Cabinet ministerEdit

When the National Party won the 1990 election, Graham was appointed to Cabinet, becoming Minister of Justice, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, and Minister of Cultural Affairs. In 1991, he became Minister in Charge of Treaty Negotiations, perhaps his most prominent role. He was widely praised by both Pākehā and Māori for his work on numerous Treaty settlements, although opponents of the process have voiced criticisms of his policies. Later, Graham also became Attorney-General and Minister for Courts. In the 1996 election, when the Remuera seat was abolished, Graham became a list MP. He was ranked sixth on National's party list, a relatively high placing.

On 21 May 1998 Graham was appointed to the Privy Council and became the Right Honourable Douglas Graham.[4]

Life after politicsEdit

He retired from politics at the 1999 election. In the 1999 New Year Honours, Graham was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services as a Minister of the Crown and Member of Parliament.[5]

On 24 February 2012 he was convicted, along with fellow former Justice Minister Bill Jeffries and two other men, of breaching the Securities Act by making untrue statements to investors in his capacity as a director of Lombard Finance.[6] Justice Robert Dobson wrote, "I am satisfied that the accused genuinely believed in the accuracy and adequacy of the ... documents", but that the offences were ones of strict liability so there was no need for "any form of mental intent to distribute documents that were false or misleading".[7] Graham was sentenced to 300 hours' community service and ordered to pay $100,000 in reparation. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against conviction and increased his sentence to six months' home detention and 200 hours' community work,[8] but the Supreme Court restored the original sentence.[9] Retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Edmund Thomas described the convictions as a "grievous miscarriage of justice", saying of the crucial piece of evidence that "you would never ever convict a dog on the basis of the schedule".[10] There have been calls for his knighthood to be revoked,[11] but Prime Minister John Key announced on 1 November 2013 that Graham would keep his knighthood.[12]


  1. ^ Small, Vernon (13 May 2008). "Ex-Nat's brother No 9 for Greens". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ John Drinnan (20 August 2014). "PR body to decide on Dirty Politics ethics". New Zealand Herald.
  4. ^ "Appointments to the Privy Council" (28 May 1998) 74 New Zealand Gazette 1613 at 1644.
  5. ^ "New Year honours list 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Former Cabinet ministers guilty of making false statements". Stuff. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  7. ^ Gaynor, Brian (10 March 2012). "Rulings have raised the bar for directors". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Court increases Lombard sentences". 2 July 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  9. ^ Mayer, Kurt (7 May 2014). "Lombard directors' home detention too harsh - Supreme Court". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Lombard conviction 'miscarriage of justice'". 7 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Lombard fallout: Graham urged to give up Sir". Business Day. 30 March 2012.
  12. ^ Small, Vernon (1 November 2013). "Sir Douglas Graham to keep knighthood". Retrieved 1 November 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Jeffries
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Tony Ryall
Preceded by
Paul East
Succeeded by
Margaret Wilson
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Allan Highet
Member of Parliament for Remuera
Electorate abolished