Rex Austin

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William Rex Austin MBE (born 23 May 1931), known as Rex Austin, is a former New Zealand politician of the National Party.


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1975–1978 38th Awarua National
1978–1981 39th Awarua National
1981–1984 40th Awarua National
1984–1987 41st Awarua National

Austin was born in Riverton, Southland, in 1931.[1] He received his education at Southland Technical College and Lincoln College;[2] at the latter institution, he obtained a diploma in agriculture.[3] In 1958, he married Miriam Helen Brumpton, with whom he had four sons.[1]

Austin farmed at Colac Bay in Southland and lived in Riverton. From 1971, he was a member of the Southland Hospital Board.[1]

In the 1975 election he was elected to Parliament as the National Party MP for Awarua, which he represented until 1987.[4]

Austin and Ben Couch were the second and third Māori (after Sir James Carroll) to win a general electorate, as opposed to one of the Māori electorates.

In the 1994 New Year Honours, Austin was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the community.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Traue, James Edward (1978). Who's Who in New Zealand, 1978 (11th ed.). Wellington: Reed Publishing. p. 47. 
  2. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 298. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  3. ^ "Rex Austin". Lincoln University. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 181. OCLC 154283103. 
  5. ^ London Gazette (supplement), No. 53528, 30 December 1993. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Aubrey Begg
Member of Parliament for Awarua
Succeeded by
Jeff Grant