Paul Goldsmith (politician)

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Paul Goldsmith

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
Assumed office
26 November 2011
Minister for Science and Innovation
In office
20 December 2016 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Steven Joyce
Succeeded by Megan Woods
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
In office
20 December 2016 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Steven Joyce
Succeeded byPortfolio Disestablished
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
In office
8 October 2014 20 December 2016
Prime Minister John Key
Bill English
Preceded by Craig Foss
Succeeded by Jacqui Dean
Personal details
Born1971 (age 4647)
Political party National Party

Paul Jonathan Goldsmith (born 1971) is a New Zealand politician and, since the 2011 election, a list member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party.


Early life

Goldsmith was born in 1971 in the Auckland suburb of Mount Eden. He attended Auckland Grammar School and the University of Auckland. [1] Goldsmith then worked as a press secretary and speech writer for Phil Goff (Labour), Simon Upton (National) and John Banks (then a National MP). [2] In 2000 Goldsmith became a public relations adviser and worked for Tranz Rail and the University of Auckland. [2]

Goldsmith graduated with an MA in history. [1] He has written the biographies of John Banks, Don Brash, William Gallagher, Alan Gibbs and Te Hemara Tauhia as well as a history of taxes, Puketutu Island and a history of the Fletcher Building construction company. [2]

Don Brash biography

At the launch of the Don Brash biography, Brash: A Biography, Goldsmith assured Danya Levy of the New Zealand Press Association that the book "was not commissioned by the National Party" and that it was his own initiative, but written with Brash's co-operation. [3]

But as investigative journalist Nicky Hager in his book The Hollow Men revealed, it was indeed commissioned by the National Party, and was in fact the party's first big budget item in the 2005 election campaign. [4] Hager quotes a 21 May 2004 email from Brash to Richard Long, who was his chief of staff, [5] where a proposal from Christchurch publisher Willson Scott for the biography was discussed. Long replied two days later that he had discussed the book with Goldsmith, and Brash in reply wanted political historian Michael Bassett [a personal friend of Brash] to be considered, [6] [7]

The book was eventually commissioned with Goldsmith, and was paid for by National Party donors through a company called Silverbeat, which belonged to Brash's assistant Bryan Sinclair. [8] National Party staff supplied Goldsmith with a collections of papers for the book, and Goldsmith first interviewed Brash in July 2004. [9] Within weeks, Goldsmith supplied the first drafts to National Party staff, and the book was written in such a complimentary way that Brash commented on the final chapter: "I do not have a single word I would change". The working relationship with Brash got so close that Goldsmith even got to review a draft version of Brash's second Orewa Speech (dubbed Orewa 2); Goldsmith returned his draft to Brash on 10 November 2004, and some of the lines were kept for 25 January 2005 speech delivery. [10]

Whilst the book was under production, Brash's team of advisers strategised how the biography could be used to best effect, or "as a significant marketing tool", as Brash himself called it in a 27 March 2005 email. [11] To give the impression that the book was independently written was made more complicated by Goldsmith becoming a candidate in the Maungakiekie electorate during the book production, something that Long had advised against by stating that he had "warned the party and Goldsmith months ago that his candidacy would undermine the authority of the book and [he] urged him to hold off till next time". [12]

The biography was launched on 28 February 2005 in Auckland. Although it was nominally a project by the publisher Penguin Books, [13] all arrangements for the launch were made by Sinclair. From a 15 February email from Goldsmith to Sinclair that contained a draft invite list that have four National Party donors listed immediately after Goldsmith's family but before his friends and with specific reference to "the above 4 ... need courtesy to invite", Hager thinks that it is possible that Doug Myers, Alan Gibbs, Craig Heatley, and David Richwhite were the ones who paid for the production of the biography. As such, the production costs of the biography do not form part of the election costs declared by the National Party for the 2005 campaign. [14]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
2011 2014 50th List 39 National
2014 2017 51st List30 National
2017 present 52nd List18 National

Goldsmith contested the Maungakiekie electorate in the 2005 general election for the National Party. [2] He was defeated by the incumbent, Labour's Mark Gosche, and due to his low list placing (59 on the National Party list), [2] he did not enter Parliament. [15]

He successfully stood for the Auckland City Council in the 2007 local body elections. He was appointed deputy finance chairman by Mayor John Banks and chaired the community services committee. [2] [16]

He stood for Citizens & Ratepayers in the Albert-Eden-Roskill ward at the 2010 Auckland elections but placed third after Christine Fletcher and Cathy Casey in the two-member ward. [16]

Goldsmith stood in the Epsom electorate at the 2011 general election, [17] but lost the electorate vote to John Banks, who earlier in 2011 had joined ACT New Zealand. [18]

Goldsmith was ranked 39th on the National Party list [19] and was elected as a list MP sitting in the 50th Parliament. [20]

Goldsmith was then ranked 30th on the National Party list, and was re-elected as a list MP in the 2014 election to the 51st Parliament. He was a Cabinet Minister in the 5th National Government, holding the portfolios of Science and Innovation, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, and Regulatory Reform. [21]

Private life

Goldsmith is married with four children. [1] He is a 2nd dan black belt in Tae Kwon Do. [2]


Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Tremain
Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs
October 2014 – December 2016
Jacqui Dean


  1. 1 2 3 "Paul Goldsmith". National Party. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dickison, Michael (22 November 2011). "Election 2011: Record anything but invisible". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  3. Levy, Danya (15 February 2005). "National candidate says Brash bio no hagiography". New Zealand Press Association .
  4. Hager 2006, pp. 192–93.
  5. Hager 2006, p. 19.
  6. Hager 2006, p. 193.
  7. Hager 2006, p. 53.
  8. Hager 2006, pp. 22, 193, 196.
  9. Hager 2006, pp. 192-94.
  10. Hager 2006, p. 194.
  11. Hager 2006, pp. 194–95.
  12. Hager 2006, p. 195.
  13. "About Don" . Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  14. Hager 2006, pp. 192–97.
  15. "Official Count Results – Maungakiekie". Chief Electoral Office. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  16. 1 2 "Paul Goldsmith". Local Elections 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  17. Trevett, Claire; Adam Bennett (18 July 2011). "Paul Goldsmith chosen as new National candidate for Epsom". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  18. "Official Count Results – Epsom". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  19. "Party lists for the 2011 General Election". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  20. "Official Count Results – Successful Candidates". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  21. "New Minister". 29 October 2014.