Paul Goldsmith (politician)

Paul Jonathan Goldsmith (born 1971) is a New Zealand politician and, since the 2011 election, a list member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is the education spokesperson for the National Party.

Paul Goldsmith
Paul Goldsmith.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
Assumed office
26 November 2011
25th Minister for Science and Innovation
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded bySteven Joyce
Succeeded byMegan Woods
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded bySteven Joyce
Succeeded byPortfolio Disestablished
11th Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
In office
8 October 2014 – 20 December 2016
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded byCraig Foss
Succeeded byJacqui Dean
Minister of Regulatory Reform
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded bySteven Joyce
Succeeded byPortfolio Disestablished
Personal details
Born1971 (age 49–50)
Political partyNational Party

Early lifeEdit

Goldsmith was born in 1971 in the Auckland suburb of Mount Eden. He descends from Charles George Goldsmith, a migrant from Liverpool who settled in the East Cape area early in New Zealand's colonial history. Charles Goldsmith had four wives—two Māori (Ngāti Porou), and two pākehā—fathering 16 children. However Goldsmith has clarified that he is not himself of Māori descent.[1]

Goldsmith attended Auckland Grammar School and received an MA in history from the University of Auckland.[2] Goldsmith then worked as a press secretary and speech writer for Phil Goff (Labour), Simon Upton (National) and John Banks (then a National MP).[3] In 2000 Goldsmith became a public relations adviser and worked for Tranz Rail and the University of Auckland.[3]

Career before politicsEdit

He has written the biographies of John Banks, Don Brash, William Gallagher, Alan Gibbs and Te Hemara Tauhia as well as a history of taxes, Puketutu Island and a history of the Fletcher Building construction company.[3]

His Don Brash biography, Brash: A Biography, was a source of controversy. When it was released in 2005 he maintained it was not commissioned by the National Party,[4] but investigative journalist Nicky Hager revealed it was indeed commissioned by the National Party and was in fact the party's first big-budget item in the 2005 election campaign.[5]

Auckland city councillorEdit

Goldsmith successfully stood for the Auckland City Council Hobson Ward at the 2007 local body elections as a member of Citizens & Ratepayers.[6] He was appointed deputy finance chairman by Mayor John Banks and chaired the community services committee.[3][7] During his term, Goldsmith was criticised by the Auckland City Mission and the Green Party for instructing council officers to investigate removing homeless people from the city centre and refusing to rule out arresting homeless people to do so.[8]

He stood for Citizens & Ratepayers in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward at the 2010 Auckland elections but placed third after Christine Fletcher and Cathy Casey in the two-member ward.[7]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th List 39 National
2014–2017 51st List 30 National
2017–2020 52nd List 18 National
2020–present 53rd List 3 National

Goldsmith contested the Maungakiekie electorate in the 2005 general election for the National Party.[3] He was defeated by the incumbent, Labour's Mark Gosche, and due to his low list placing (59 on the National Party list),[3] did not enter Parliament.[9]

Goldsmith stood in the Epsom electorate at the 2011 general election,[10] but lost the electorate vote to John Banks, who earlier in 2011 had joined ACT New Zealand.[11] Since 2011, National party leaders have lent support to ACT candidates running in the Epsom electorate to keep the party in Parliament.[12][13][14] Goldsmith was ranked 39th on the National Party list[15] and was elected as a list MP sitting in the 50th Parliament.[16] During his first term in parliament, Goldsmith was initially deputy chairperson and subsequently (from 2013) chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure select committee.[17] He was also a member of the Local Government and Environment select committee.[17]

During the 2014 election, Goldsmith contested the Epsom electorate and came second to ACT candidate David Seymour.[18] Ranked 30th, Goldsmith was re-elected as a list MP. He was a Cabinet Minister in the 5th National Government, holding the portfolios of Science and Innovation, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Regulatory Reform.[17] He served on the Education and Science and Social Services select committees.[17]

During the 2017 election, Goldsmith was re-elected as a list MP after coming second place in the Epsom electorate.[19] At the beginning of the parliamentary term, as an opposition MP, he was the party spokesperson for Arts, Culture and Heritage.[17] Following the March 2018 National Party portfolio reshuffle, Goldsmith became spokesperson for Revenue and Economic and Regional Development.[17][20] Later in the year, he lost the Revenue portfolio, but became Transport spokesperson.[17] In 2019, Goldsmith assumed the spokesperson role for Finance and Infrastructure.[21][17] In addition to his finance and infrastructure roles, Goldsmith became spokesperson for state-owned enterprises between February and May 2020 and Earthquake Commission spokesperson between May and November 2020.[17]

Under the leadership of Judith Collins and following the pre-election budget which was found to have several errors,[22] Goldsmith lost the Finance and Earthquake Commission role and became spokesperson for Education.[17] Between March and May 2020, Goldsmith was a member of the Epidemic Response Committee, a select committee that considers the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[23] Goldsmith has stated that he would vote against the legalisation of cannabis at the 2020 referendum.[24] He believes New Zealand should wait and observe the effects of cannabis legalisation in Canada before making a decision.[24]

During the 2020 election, Goldsmith contested the Epsom electorate, coming third place.[25] He was re-elected as a list MP.[26] Since November 2020, Goldsmith has been a member of the Education and Workforce select committee.[17] In June 2021, Goldsmith attracted controversy for stating that colonisation had been "on balance" good for Māori because it had led to the creation of New Zealand.[27] He believes that New Zealand's reconnection with the rest of the world following isolation for centuries was always going to be a "traumatic experience".[27]

Private lifeEdit

Goldsmith is married with four children.[2] He is a 2nd dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do.[3]


  • Goldsmith, Paul (2002). John Banks: A Biography. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301819-1.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2003). The Rise and Fall of Te Hemara Tauhia. Raupo Publishing. ISBN 0-7-90009-056.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2005). Brash: a biography. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301967-8.
  • Goldsmith, Paul and Bassett, Michael, The Myers, David Ling Publishing Ltd, Auckland, 2007.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2008). We Won, You Lost, Eat That!: A Political History of Tax in New Zealand Since 1840. David Ling Publishing. ISBN 978-1-877378-22-5.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2008). Stress & Enterprise: the Career of Richard Izard. David Ling Publishing. ISBN 978-1-87737-821-8.
  • Goldsmith, Paul; Bassett, Michael (2008). Puketutu and its People. David Ling Publishing. ISBN 978-1-87737-825-6.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2009). Fletchers: A Centennial History of Fletcher Building. David Ling Publishing. ISBN 978-1-877378-35-5.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2012). Serious Fun: The Life and Times of Alan Gibbs. Penguin Books New Zealand. ISBN 978-1-86979-930-4.
  • Goldsmith, Paul (2013). Legend: From Electric Fences to Global Success: The Sir William Gallagher Story. Penguin Books New Zealand. ISBN 978-1-77553-337-5.


  1. ^ Neilson, Michael (27 May 2020). "'Ngāti Epsom': National MP Paul Goldsmith's true heritage revealed". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Paul Goldsmith". National Party. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Dickison, Michael (22 November 2011). "Election 2011: Record anything but invisible". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  4. ^ Levy, Danya (15 February 2005). "National candidate says Brash bio no hagiography". New Zealand Press Association.
  5. ^ Hager 2006, pp. 192–93.
  6. ^ "Election results". 25 May 2008. Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Paul Goldsmith". Local Elections 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Auckland mayor defends councillor's stand on homeless". RNZ. 4 September 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Official Count Results – Maungakiekie". Chief Electoral Office. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  10. ^ Trevett, Claire; Bennett, Adam (18 July 2011). "Paul Goldsmith chosen as new National candidate for Epsom". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Official Count Results – Epsom". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  12. ^ "ACT deal: New Plymouth seat for Epsom". Stuff. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  13. ^ "PM and Banks have their Epsom cup of tea". Stuff. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Judith Collins calls for Epsom voters to back ACT's David Seymour". Stuff. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Party lists for the 2011 General Election". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  16. ^ "Official Count Results – Successful Candidates". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Goldsmith, Paul - New Zealand Parliament". Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Official Count Results -- Epsom". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  19. ^ "2017 General Election – Official Result". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  20. ^ "National Party reshuffle sees former ministers demoted, Judith Collins up". Stuff. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  21. ^ "National Party's Simon Bridges announces caucus reshuffle". RNZ. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  22. ^ "National Party reshuffle: Judith Collins splits finance portfolio, demotes Todd Muller, Simon Bridges and Paul Goldsmith". Stuff. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Epidemic response". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Cannabis referendum: National's Paul Goldsmith says let Canada experiment, not NZ". Newshub. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  25. ^ "Epsom – Official Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  26. ^ "2020 General Election and Referendums - Official Result Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  27. ^ a b "Colonisation a good thing for Māori 'on balance' - National MP Paul Goldsmith". Newshub. Retrieved 21 July 2021.


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Succeeded by