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Templeton in 1981

Hugh Campbell Templeton QSO AO (born 24 March 1929) is a former New Zealand diplomat, politician and member of parliament for the National Party.

Early life and familyEdit

Templeton was born in Wyndham, Southland, in 1929. He was educated at Gore High School, King's High School, the University of Otago,[1] and then as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford University. He married Russian-born New Zealand novelist Natasha Templeton in Wellington in 1961.[2][3]

His brother, Malcolm, was a Foreign Service officer who represented New Zealand at the United Nations. His twin brother Ian is a veteran press gallery journalist and author.

From 1954 to 1969 Templeton served with the New Zealand Department of External Affairs, first in London, and then in Wellington, before going as the last Deputy High Commissioner of Western Samoa to prepare specially for independence and then to New York to assist secure Samoa's post independence aid programmes, under Guy Powles.[1] From 1965 to 1969 Templeton served in Wellington working on Asian and European and Defence affairs, before being elected to Parliament.

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1969–1972 36th Awarua National
1975–1978 38th Karori National
1978–1981 39th Ohariu National
1981–1984 40th Ohariu National

Templeton was elected as MP for Awarua in Southland in 1969. However, he lost the electorate in the 1972 election to Labour's Aubrey Begg.[4] From 1972–1975, he was executive assistant to the Leaders of the Opposition, Jack Marshall and then Robert Muldoon. Templeton was re-elected to Parliament in 1975 for the Wellington electorate of Karori. The electorate was renamed Ohariu and was represented by Templeton until the 1984 election, when he was defeated by Peter Dunne, then a member of the Labour Party,[5] in a three-way contest with the New Zealand Party's leader Bob Jones. His friend and diplomatic colleague Chris Beeby commented on Templeton's election losses as follows:[6]

It must take a very special kind of talent to fuck up two blue-ribbon seats.

— Chris Beeby

Cabinet ministerEdit

Templeton was appointed to various positions in communications and economic portfolios during the Muldoon National Government of 1975–1984. Templeton was Minister of Revenue (1977–1982) and Minister of Trade and Industry (1981–1984) with responsibility for ANZCER (Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Relations free trade agreement). Templeton also worked with the Prime Minister on stimulating New Zealand's onshore petroleum programme as part of Think Big. He wrote a book All Honourable Men: Inside the Muldoon Cabinet 1975–1984 on this period.

Templeton lost his seat with the election of the Fourth Labour Government in 1984.

In the 1992 New Year Honours, Templeton was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services.[7]

Post parliamentary careerEdit

New Zealand FlagEdit

In 2004, Templeton supported the NZ Trust campaign for a referendum to change New Zealand's flag.[8] A petition for a referendum on the issue failed to gain enough signatures.

Australian honourEdit

In November 2009, he was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, "for service to Australia-New Zealand economic relations, particularly through the establishment of the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement".[9]


  1. ^ a b Gustafson 1986, p. 346.
  2. ^ "Templeton, Natasha". New Zealand Book Council. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Natasha Templeton". Random House New Zealand. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 239.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 194, 239.
  6. ^ Weir 2007, p. 26.
  7. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 52768, 30 December 1991. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  8. ^ Hon. Hugh Templeton QSO. "A flag to die for ... certainly to live for". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007.
  9. ^ It's an Honour


Works by TempletonEdit

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Fraser Colman
Succeeded by
Peter Wilkinson
Preceded by
Peter Wilkinson
Minister of Customs
Succeeded by
Keith Allen
Preceded by
Lance Adams-Schneider
Minister of Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
David Caygill
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Gordon Grieve
Member of Parliament for Awarua
Succeeded by
Aubrey Begg
Preceded by
Jack Marshall
Member of Parliament for Karori
Constituency abolished