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Justice Paul Temm, 1931 - 1997

High Court judge and former New Zealand Law Society Vice President Justice Paul Temm died in Auckland last month aged 66.

Appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1971 he appeared on six occasions before the Privy Council. His electoral petition in 1978 which won Winston Peters the Hunua seat, effectively launched the deputy Prime Minister’s political career while at the same time exposing flaws in the voting system which led to major electoral reform.

He served on the Waitangi Tribunal from 1982 to 1985 after which he spent two years putting together the Ngai Tahu claim for compensation for South Island Maori.

His involvement in law society affairs was significant. He was President of the Auckland District Law Society in 1983. He served as a member of the New Zealand Law Society LAWASIA Committee from 1976 to 1986, Ethics Committee 1976, Council from 1980 to 1984 and Executive Committee 1983-84. In 1984 he was the New Zealand Law Society’s Vice President.

He was appointed to the High Court bench in 1991.

Paul Temm was a Papal Knight, an honour he received in 1974 for his work for the Church.

He is survived by his wife and 11 children.

This obituary was first published in LawTalk 478, 9 June 1997, page 4.

Last updated on the 11th May 2012