Bill Jeffries

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The Honourable
Bill Jeffries
Bill Jeffries.jpg
40th Minister of Justice
In office
13 August 1989 – 2 November 1990
Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
Preceded by Geoffrey Palmer
Succeeded by Doug Graham
Personal details
Born William Patrick Jeffries
Political party Labour
Profession Lawyer

William Patrick "Bill" Jeffries (born 1945) is a former New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He was elected as the represented the Heretaunga and served as an undersecretary and Minister of Justice. He was convicted of untrue statements to investors and sentenced to house arrest and community service; Justice Dobson was of the opinion that Jeffries believed his statements but the law required accuracy not belief.

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate List Party
1981–1984 40th Heretaunga Labour
1984–1987 41st Heretaunga Labour
1987–1990 42nd Heretaunga Labour

He represented the Heretaunga electorate from 1981 to 1990, when he was defeated by National candidate Peter McCardle in a swing against Labour.

He was undersecretary to the Minister of Transport in 1986 and also to the Minister of Works, and chairman of a parliamentary committee on road safety, in 1987. In April 1988 he was appointed chairman of the National Roads Board. He was Minister of Justice from 1989 to 1990 in the Fourth Labour Government. He was Minister of Justice from 1989 to 1990 in the Fourth Labour Government.

Lombard Finance convictions[edit]

On 24 February 2012 Jeffries was convicted, along with fellow former Justice Minister Sir Douglas Graham and two other men, of breaching the Securities Act by making untrue statements to investors in his capacity as a director of Lombard Finance.[1] 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".[2] Jeffries was sentenced to 400 hours community service. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against conviction and increased his sentence to eight months home detention and 250 hours community work,[3] but the Supreme Court restored the original sentence.[4] 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".[5]


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
  1. ^ "Former Cabinet ministers guilty of making false statements". Stuff. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Gaynor, Brian (10 March 2012). "Rulings have raised the bar for directors". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Court increases Lombard sentences". 2013-07-02. Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
  4. ^ Mayer, Kurt (7 May 2014). "Lombard directors' home detention too harsh - Supreme Court". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "Lombard conviction 'miscarriage of justice'". 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Palmer
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Doug Graham
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Ron Bailey
Member of Parliament for Heretaunga
Succeeded by
Peter McCardle