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New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1969–1972 36th Rodney National
1972–1975 37th Rodney National
1975–1978 38th Rodney National
1978–1981 39th Kaipara National
1981–1984 40th Kaipara National

Peter Ian Wilkinson (12 November 1934 – 19 October 1987) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party.

Wilkinson was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England in 1934, the son of Rev G. L. B. Wilkinson. He received his education at schools in the Waikato and Auckland, at Durham University in England (from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with honours), and at the University of Auckland (from where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws).[1]

He represented the Rodney electorate in Parliament from 1969 to 1978, having unsuccessfully stood for National in the Waitakere electorate in the 1966 election. He then represented the Kaipara electorate from 1978 to 1984, when he retired.[2] In the 1978 election, Nevern McConachy of the Social Credit Party came within 520 votes of winning the electorate, the best chance that Social Credit had that election for gaining another representative; at the time, only Bruce Beetham was in Parliament for Social Credit.[3] Wilkinson was succeeded in the Kaipara electorate by Lockwood Smith.[4] Wilkinson was a Cabinet Minister, and held the position of Attorney-General in the Third National Government.

He was a half-brother of former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Jim McLay who succeeded him as the Attorney-General.[5]

He died in Auckland Hospital of a brain haemorrhage, aged 52 years.[6] He was survived by his wife, Cunitia Wilkinson.[7] The Wilkinson Trophy road running race has been held annually at Kaipara. First awarded in 1973 by Wilkinson, his widow continues to financially support the race.[7]


  1. ^ Traue 1978, p. 287.
  2. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  3. ^ Chapman 1999, p. 208.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Rex Preston". The Kaipara Lifestyler. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ Templeton, Hugh (1995). All Honourable Men: Inside the Muldoon Cabinet, 1975-1984. Auckland University Press. p. 112. ISBN 186940128X.
  6. ^ Waikato Times 12 October 1987
  7. ^ a b "Takapuna team takes out Wilkinson Trophy road race". Hibiscus Matters. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2015.


Political offices
Preceded by
Martyn Finlay
Succeeded by
Jim McLay
Preceded by
Hugh Templeton
Succeeded by
Ben Couch
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Jack Scott
Member of Parliament for Rodney
Constituency abolished, recreated in 1984
Title next held by
Don McKinnon
Constituency recreated after abolition in 1946
Title last held by
Clifton Webb
Member of Parliament for Kaipara
Succeeded by
Lockwood Smith