Bryan Gould

Bryan Charles Gould CNZM (born 11 February 1939) is a New Zealand-born British former politician and diplomat. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1974 to 1979, and again from 1983 to 1994. He was a member of the Labour Party's Shadow Cabinet from 1986 to 1992, and stood unsuccessfully for the leadership of the party in 1992.[1]

Bryan Gould

Shadow Secretary of State for National Heritage
In office
18 July 1992  29 September 1992
LeaderJohn Smith
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byAnn Clwyd
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment
In office
2 November 1989  18 July 1992
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byJack Cunningham
Succeeded byChris Smith
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
In office
13 July 1987  2 November 1989
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Preceded byJohn Smith
Succeeded byGordon Brown
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
30 October 1986  13 July 1987
LeaderNeil Kinnock
Succeeded byGordon Brown
Member of Parliament
for Dagenham
In office
9 June 1983  17 May 1994
Preceded byJohn Parker
Succeeded byJudith Church
Member of Parliament
for Southampton Test
In office
10 October 1974  7 April 1979
Preceded byJames Hill
Succeeded byJames Hill
Personal details
Bryan Charles Gould

(1939-02-11) 11 February 1939 (age 82)
Hāwera, New Zealand
New Zealand
Political partyLabour
RelationsGeorge Gould (grandfather)
Wayne Gould (brother)
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

Gould returned to New Zealand and in 2004 was made a director at TVNZ.[2]

Early life and family

Gould was born in Hāwera, New Zealand, on 11 February 1939, the son of Charles Terence Gould and Elsie Gladys May Gould (née Driller).[3] He was educated at Tauranga College from 1951 to 1953, and then Dannevirke High School between 1954 and 1955.[3] He went on to study at Victoria University College from 1956 to 1958, and Auckland University College from 1959 to 1962, graduating BA LLB in 1961, and LLM with first-class honours two years later.[3][4] He was a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar to Balliol College, Oxford, from 1962. After completing a degree in Law with first-class honours, he joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1964. He then returned to Oxford as a tutorial Fellow in Law at Worcester College alongside Francis Reynolds.

Gould's brother is Wayne Gould, best known for popularising Sudoku. They are descendants of George Gould, a former chairman of the New Zealand Shipping Company.[5] In 1967, Bryan Gould married Gillian Anne Harrigan, and the couple went on to have two children.[3]

Parliamentary career

Having fought the seat unsuccessfully in February 1974, Gould was elected Labour MP for Southampton Test in October 1974 and held it until 1979. He worked as a television journalist from 1979 to 1983, and was then elected as MP for Dagenham from 1983, holding the seat until he resigned on 17 May 1994.

Gould was a member of Neil Kinnock's Shadow Cabinet, serving first as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, then as spokesman on Trade and Industry, the Environment,[6] and later on Heritage. In 1992 he founded the Full Employment Forum. Later that year he was defeated in the leadership election to succeed Kinnock after the general election, which Labour lost to the Conservative Party for the fourth election in succession. John Smith won the leadership contest,[7] but Gould resigned from Smith's Shadow Cabinet on 27 September 1992 when the Shadow Cabinet rejected a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty and in protest against Labour's support for the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.[8] He resigned his parliamentary seat in May 1994 when he was about to return to New Zealand.

After Parliament

In July 1994, Gould returned to New Zealand and became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato, serving until his retirement in 2004. In this position, Gould was instrumental in initiating The Great Race, a rowing race for Waikato University against international universities on the Waikato River. The Bryan Gould Cup for the women's eights race is named after him.[9]

In the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Gould was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to tertiary education.[10] In October 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Waikato.[11] He is a board member of TVNZ.


  1. McSmith, Andy (1997). Faces of Labour: the inside story. Verso. pp. 15–. ISBN 978-1-85984-093-1 via Google Books.
  2. About Bryan Gould
  3. Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). "New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001". New Zealand Who's Who, Aotearoa. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers: 382. ISSN 1172-9813.
  4. "NZ university graduates 1870–1961: G". Shadows of Time. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. Greenaway, Richard LN (June 2007). "Barbadoes Street Cemetery Tour" (PDF). Christchurch City Council. p. 4. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  6. Whitney, Craig R. (15 April 1992). "Laborites to Wait Until July to Pick Leader". The New York Times. p. 7. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  7. "1992: Labour's Neil Kinnock resigns". BBC News. 13 April 1992.
  8. Philip Webster, 'Gould quits over Labour EC policy', The Times (28 September 1992), p. 1.
  9. "Great Race - The Trophies". The Great Race. Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  10. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2019.