Paul East

Paul East bigraphy, stories - New Zealand politician

Paul East : biography

4 August 1946 –

Paul Clayton East, CNZM, QC, (born 4 August 1946) is a former New Zealand politician.

Member of Parliament

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 1999, he resigned from Parliament to take up a position as New Zealand’s High Commissioner in London. He was replaced by Alec Neill, the next candidate on National’s party list.


As Attorney-General, Paul 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

Since 2002 Paul East has been Independent Chairman of the which is the industry organisation for charitable trusts which 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.

Early life

Paul East was educated at King’s College and The University of Auckland He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1978 to 1999, representing the National Party.

Prior to becoming an MP, East, was a lawyer and barrister with East Brewster, a prominent 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.