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Author Topic: Obituaries  (Read 24580 times)
« Reply #175 on: October 24, 2011, 10:43:05 am »

Top government advisor dies in Wellington

Sir Frank Holmes, a leading New Zealand economist and government advisor for half a century, died this morning, aged 87.

A bomber pilot in the Pacific during the World War 2, Mr Holmes became a long time economics professor at Victoria University, where he remained Emeritus Professor of the Institute of Policy Studies until his death.

Mr Holmes' career saw him work advising several governments, both on domestic economic policy and foreign trade.

Economic adviser to the Royal Commission Monetary, Banking and Credit Systems in 1955, he later served as two terms on the Monetary and Economic Council, set up in 1961 by the Holyoake government.

Mr Holmes was involved in debates on New Zealand's trade policies, including agreements with Australia and concessions to New Zealand when Britain joined the European Economic Community, which became the European Union.

A founder of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University where he wrote a series of studies of trade relationships with senior officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Holmes also worked extensively in the private sector, including as economics manager of Tasman Pulp and Paper Company and chairing the National Bank of New Zealand's Southpac Finance subsidiary.

Mr Holmes was knighted in 1975 for services to economics and education.

Made a justice of the peace in 1960, Mr Holmes was awarded two honorary doctorates, one in law from Otago University in 1997 and one in commerce by Victoria University in 2004.

Political commentator Colin James said while much of Mr Holmes' career saw him arguing for a less regulated economy, he was not simply a free marketeer, working closely with Labour governments and earning the respect of former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Mr James said Mr Holmes died peacefully about 2am today after a short illness.

He is survived by his son Ross, 9 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren.

A service will be held in St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Wellington, on Monday 31 October at 1pm.

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