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Alan Low

Sir Alan Roberts Low (11 January 1916 – 18 April 1999) was a New Zealand economist. He was the fifth governor of the Reserve Bank.


  • Early life 1
  • Professional career 2
  • Honours and awards 3
  • Family 4
  • References 5

Early life

Low was born in Blenheim in 1916, the son of Benjamin Low.[1] His father became headmaster of Timaru Main School and Alan Low attended there before going to Timaru Boys' High School.[2] He then attended the University of Canterbury (1934–1937) and graduated with a Master of Arts (honours) in economics.[2]

Low served in WWII from 1942 to 1944, and belonged to the 24th Field Ambulance of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.[1][2]

Professional career

Low joined the Reserve Bank in 1938. He became assistant economist in 1949, economic adviser in 1951, assistant governor in 1960, and deputy governor (under Gilbert Wilson) in 1962.[1] Low was Governor of the Reserve Bank from 21 July 1967 to 11 February 1977.[3] Low was a member of various New Zealand delegations to international conferences, including Havana (Cuba, 1947/48), Annecy (France, 1949), London (Great Britain, 1951), and Sydney (Australia, 1954).[1] He published various articles in economic journals.[1] He was a director of the National Bank of New Zealand.[2]

Honours and awards

In the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours, Low was knighted.[4] In the same year, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury (LL.D.).[5]


On 19 December 1940, he married Kathleen Harrow, the daughter of E. J. Harrow. They had one son and two daughters.[1] In 1978, the Lows lived in Lower Hutt.[1] His hobbies included music, gardening, and reading.[1] He died on 18 April 1999.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Traue, James Edward (1978). Who's Who in New Zealand, 1978 (11th ed.). Wellington:  
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sir Alan Low".  
  3. ^ "Governors of the Reserve Bank - past and present".  
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47237. p. 7127. 10 June 1977. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). University of Canterbury. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
Government offices
Preceded by
Gilbert Wilson
Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Raymond W. R. Knight
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