Gordon Copeland, former MP dies


Former United Future MP Gordon Copeland died in Wellington last Saturday at the age of 75.

From 1984 to 2002 Copeland served as the financial administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington.

He served as a Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2008 entering the House of Representatives as a list MP for the United Future New Zealand Party.

As a member of parliament, Copeland promoted the importance of the family in building a strong nation.

He was a strong advocate for marriage preparation, marriage enrichment programmes and parenting programmes.

He also wanted to develop policy giving greater encouragement to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Following his 2005 re-election, Copeland gained the support of other social conservatives for his political views.

But he resigned from the United Future Party in May 2007.

With another former United Future list MP, Larry Baldock, he formed the Future New Zealand Party in May 2007. It later changed its name to the Kiwi Party.

He stood for parliament again in 2008 and 2011 but failed to be elected.

Copeland worked for fourteen years in the oil industry, becoming the chief financial officer of BP in New Zealand.

Later, he worked as a self-employed business consultant with corporate and government clients.

Copeland chaired the Inter-Church Working Party on Taxation (1987–2002) and became a member of the Working Party on Registration, Reporting and Monitoring of Charities that led to setting up the New Zealand Charities Commission.

Peter Dunne, retired former leader of the United Future party, said on Tuesday night he was sad to hear of Copeland’s passing.

“I think he made a really strong contribution to the party.”

Copeland had a strong financial background and stood by his strong moral and ethical views, Dunne said.

His requiem mass will be celebrated at St Gerard’s Church and Monastery, Hawker St, Mt Victoria in Wellington on Friday.


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News category: New Zealand.

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