Paul East

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The Right Honourable
Paul East
22nd High Commissioner from New Zealand to the United Kingdom
In office
Preceded by Richard Grant
Succeeded by Russell Marshall
32nd Minister of Defence
In office
1 March 1996 – 5 December 1997
Prime Minister Jim Bolger
Preceded by Warren Cooper
Succeeded by Max Bradford
27th Attorney-General
In office
2 November 1990 – 5 December 1997
Prime Minister Jim Bolger
Preceded by David Lange
Succeeded by Doug Graham
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Rotorua
In office
Preceded by Harry Lapwood
Succeeded by Max Bradford
Majority 429[1]
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
In office
12 October 1996 – 25 January 1999
Personal details
Born (1946-08-04) 4 August 1946 (age 68)
Political party National

Paul Clayton East CNZM QC (born 4 August 1946) is a former New Zealand politician of the National Party.

Early life and family[edit]

East was educated at King's College, Auckland and the University of Auckland.

Prior to becoming an MP, East was a lawyer and barrister with East Brewster, a Rotorua-based legal firm, from 1973 to 1978. East also enagaged in local politics as a member of the Rotorua City Council, which has now been subsumed into the Rotorua District Council.

East is married and has three daughters.

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1978–1981 39th Rotorua National
1981–1984 40th Rotorua National
1984–1987 41st Rotorua National
1987–1990 42nd Rotorua National
1990–1993 43rd Rotorua National
1993–1996 44th Rotorua National
1996–1999 45th List 5 National

East was first elected to Parliament in the 1978 election as MP for Rotorua, and retained that seat until he opted to become a list MP in the 1996 elections.

East served in a number of ministerial roles, including those of Minister of Defence and Attorney-General in the fourth National government. When Jenny Shipley replaced Jim Bolger as leader of the National Party, East was one of the minority who remained aligned with Bolger.

In the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours, East was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Parliament and the law.[2] He was appointed a member of the Privy Council in 1998.[3] In 1999, he resigned from Parliament to take up the position of New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in London.[4] He was replaced in Parliament by Alec Neill, the next candidate on National's party list.


As Attorney-General, East advocated on important international issues, including a case brought before the International Court of Justice in 1995 on behalf of New Zealand against France's nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean. East also headed the development of an advisory opinion to the UN General Assembly on the legality of nuclear testing in 1995. East was awarded the status of Queen's Counsel (QC) while Attorney-General.

Outside Parliament[edit]

Since 2002 East has been independent chairman of the Charity Gaming Association (Inc) (CGA), which is the industry organisation for charitable trusts that operate electronic gaming machines ("pokies") to raise funds for community purposes. In 2008 the CGA's members operated 75% of non-club gaming machines in New Zealand and generated $250 million worth of grants for worthwhile community purposes.


  1. ^ At 1993 election
  2. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Privy Council". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Paul East to observe Sri Lankan elections
  • 1990 Parliamentary Candidates for the New Zealand National Party p. 68 by John Stringer (New Zealand National Party, 1990)
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Richard Grant
High Commissioner from New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Russell Marshall
Political offices
Preceded by
David Lange
Succeeded by
Doug Graham
Preceded by
Warren Cooper
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Max Bradford
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Harry Lapwood
Member of Parliament for Rotorua
Succeeded by
Max Bradford