Charles Bowden (politician)

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Charles Moore Bowden (1886 – 10 July 1972) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party.


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1943–1946 27th Wellington West National
1946–1949 28th Karori National
1949–1951 29th Karori National
1951–1954 30th Karori National

Bowden was born in Dunedin in 1886. He received his education at Auckland Grammar School. After school, he was briefly with an auctioneering firm before joining Kempthorne Prosser. When his family moved to Wellington, he joined W.M. Bannatyne and Co, where he moved into accounting. He became self-employed and established the accountancy firm Bowden, Bass and Cox in 1923. In the same year, he was president of the New Zealand Society of Accountants, and afterwards president of the Wellington branch of the Chamber of Commerce (1924–1925). For almost a decade, he was chairman and managing director of Wairarapa Farmers in Masterton (1927–1936), and he was a director of Bannatyne and Co.[1]

He represented the Wellington West electorate in Parliament from 1943 to 1946, and then the Karori electorate from 1946 to 1954, when he retired.[2]

He was a cabinet minister in the First National Government. He was Minister of Customs (1949–1954), Minister of Industries and Commerce (1949–1950), and Minister of Stamp Duties (1949–1952).[3]

In May 1955 he was appointed chairman of the Ross Sea Committee to organise New Zealand participation in the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Bowden Glacier lying on the southeast flank of Salient Ridge that flows northeast to Blue Glacier, Victoria Land, was named by the New Zealand Geographic Board in 1994 for Bowden during Sir Edmund Hillary's South Pole Expedition, part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1957.

He was appointed director of the Bank of New Zealand and chairman of Heritage New Zealand.[1]

Bowden died on 10 July 1972.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Gustafson 1986, p. 301.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 184.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 86.


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Catherine Stewart
Member of Parliament for Wellington West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Karori
Succeeded by
Jack Marshall