Former Deputy PM Sir Brian Talboys dies

SERVANT OF NZ: Sir Brian Talboys in 1978.
SERVANT OF NZ: Sir Brian Talboys in 1978.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Brian Talboys has died at the age of 90.

Sir Brian, who represented the Southland electorate of Wallace for eight elections from 1957, served as a Minister in the National Governments of Sir Keith Holyoake and Sir Robert Muldoon. He was Deputy Prime Minister under Muldoon from 1975 to 1981.

Prime Minister John Key has paid tribute to former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Brian Talboys.

"I was saddened to learn of Sir Brian's death and my thoughts are with his family at this time," Mr Key says.

"Sir Brian was a gracious and articulate politician who was always looking for solutions. He represented the best of the pragmatic tradition of the National Party.

"He had a truly international view of New Zealand's place in the world and was a strong advocate of our trade interests in a time of profound change.

Born in Whanganui in 1921, Sir Brian served in the air force during World War II. After the war, he settled in Southland as a farmer and entered politics, winning the Wallace seat in 1957.

He was agriculture minister, science minister and then education minister under Holyoake, before becoming deputy leader of the National Party in Opposition in 1974, under Muldoon.

After National's victory in the 1975 election, he became deputy prime minister and served in that role for the first two terms of the Muldoon Government, retiring in 1981.

Invercargill MP Eric Roy described Sir Brian as a formidable intellect and articulate speaker and a passionate Southlander.

"He served New Zealand excellently,'' Mr Roy said.

- A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Sir Brian was aged 91 when he died.

The Southland Times