|The Right Honourable
Sir Douglas Graham
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
14 July 1984 – 12 October 1996
|Preceded by||Allan Highet|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
|Minister of Justice|
2 November 1990 – 1 February 1999
|Prime Minister||Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley|
|Preceded by||Bill Jeffries|
|Succeeded by||Tony Ryall|
|Attorney-General of New Zealand|
5 December 1997 – 5 December 1999
|Prime Minister||Jenny Shipley|
|Preceded by||Paul East|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Wilson|
12 January 1942 |
Auckland, New Zealand
Early life and family
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.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
When the National Party won the 1990 elections, 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 elections, when the Remuera seat was abolished, Graham became a list MP. He was ranked sixth on National's party list, a relatively high placing.
Life after politics
He retired from politics at the 1999 election. In the 1999 New Year Honours List Graham was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit "for services as a Minister of the Crown and Member of Parliament".
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. 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". 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. The Supreme Court has granted Graham leave to appeal against the sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal, but refused leave to appeal against the convictions. Retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Edmund Thomas described his 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". There have also been calls for his knighthood to be revoked, but Prime Minister John Key announced on 1 November 2013 that Graham would keep his knighthood.
- Small, Vernon (2008-05-13). "Ex-Nat's brother No 9 for Greens". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "Appointments to the Privy Council" (28 May 1998) 74 New Zealand Gazette 1613 at 1644.
- "New Year Honours 1999" (22 January 1999) 5 New Zealand Gazette 139.
- "New Year Honours List 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- "Former Cabinet ministers guilty of making false statements". Stuff. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- Gaynor, Brian (10 March 2012). "Rulings have raised the bar for directors". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
- "Court increases Lombard sentences". Stuff.co.nz. 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Small, Vernon (1 November 2013). "Sir Douglas Graham to keep knighthood". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- "Lombard conviction 'miscarriage of justice'". Stuff.co.nz. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- "Lombard fallout: Graham urged to give up Sir". Business Day. 30 March 2012.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Remuera