Robin Gray (New Zealand politician)

The Honourable
Sir Robin Gray
23rd Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
Prime Minister Jim Bolger
Preceded by Kerry Burke
Succeeded by Peter Tapsell
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Clutha
In office
1978  1996
Preceded by Peter Gordon
Personal details
Born (1931-07-02) 2 July 1931
Borgue, Scotland
Nationality New Zealand
Political party National
Profession Farmer

Sir Robert "Robin" McDowall Gray (born 2 July 1931) is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1978 to 1996, and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1990 and 1993.

Early life

Gray was born in Borgue, Scotland. After serving in the British Army, he moved to New Zealand to take up farming in 1952, eventually settling in Mosgiel.[1]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
19781981 39th Clutha National
19811984 40th Clutha National
19841987 41st Clutha National
19871990 42nd Clutha National
19901993 43rd Clutha National
19931996 44th Clutha National

He joined the National Party in 1956, and held a number of positions in its internal hierarchy. In the 1978 elections, he was elected to replace Peter Gordon as MP for Clutha.

Gray became the National Party's Junior Whip in 1985 and the Senior Whip in 1987.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

When National won office in the 1990 elections, Gray was made Speaker of the House of Representatives. After the 1993 elections, however, the National Party held a majority of only a single seat – as the Speaker could not vote, re-appointing Gray to the Speakership would leave Parliament deadlocked. National therefore offered the Speakership to Peter Tapsell of the Labour Party. Gray was appointed to the sinecure of Minister of State, and also became Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In the 1994 New Year Honours, Gray was made a Knight Bachelor.[2] He retired from politics at the 1996 elections.

As Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gray was entitled to the title of The Honourable and became The Hon. Sir Robert "Robin" McDowall Gray which is a title he was granted for the rest of his life[3] after leaving parliament.

Life after Parliament

Gray effectively retired following his stepping down as an MP but still makes occasional appearances and commentary at various Conferences around New Zealand. He has undertaken mild criticism aimed at the National Party for failing to promote Members interests at conferences to which he achieved a degree of success in ensuring Delegate's had more opportunity for engagement at the formal meetings.[4]

Gray also sits as the Founding President on the Board of Trustees for the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust.[5]


Political offices
Preceded by
Kerry Burke
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Peter Tapsell
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Peter Gordon
Member of Parliament for Clutha
Constituency abolished
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