Thomas Gault

The Right Honourable
Sir Thomas Gault
President of the Court of Appeal
In office
Preceded by Sir Ivor Richardson
Succeeded by Noel Anderson
Personal details
Born Thomas Munro Gault
(1938-10-31)31 October 1938
Died 19 May 2015 (aged 76)

Sir Thomas Munro Gault KNZM QC PC (Chinese: 高禮哲, 31 October 1938[1] – 19 May 2015[2]) was a New Zealand jurist. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court of New Zealand and a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom as well as a non-permanent judge of the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong. He was also a justice of the Supreme Court of Fiji.

Gault attended Wellington College and graduated with a Master of Laws degree from Victoria University of Wellington. After graduation he was a member of the law firm A J Park & Son for 20 years. In 1981, he began practising as a barrister sole, and in 1984 he was appointed a Queen's Counsel.

His first appointment to the bench was as a Judge of the High Court in 1987, followed three years later by being made a member of the Court of Appeal. He was appointed President of the Court of Appeal in May 2002.

In 2001 he was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the judiciary. In the Special Honours 2009 Gault accepted re-designation of his DCNZM to a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.[3]

A keen golfer, Gault won the New Zealand Universities’ Championship, and was awarded Blues by both Victoria University and the University of New Zealand. Moving into the administration of the game, he was President of the New Zealand Golf Association from 1987 to 1996 and as an Advisory Member of the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status Committees from 1978 to 1996. He was referee for The Open Championship from 1993 to 1998. He joined The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1994, and was made its first New Zealand captain in September 2005.

Gault died at home in Auckland in 2015.[4][5]


  1. "The Supremes – who's who on NZ'S highest court". New Zealand Herald. 30 March 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  2. "my.lawsociety - Sir Thomas Gault, 1938 - 2015".
  3. Special Honours List (12 August 2009) 118 New Zealand Gazette 2691
  4. "Thomas Munro Gault". New Zealand Herald. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  5. "Former supreme court justice Sir Thomas Gault dies". Stuff (Fairfax). 22 May 2015.
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