Dame Thea Muldoon
Thea Muldoon in 1977
Spouse of the Prime Minister of New Zealand
In role
12 December 1975 – 26 July 1984
Prime MinisterRobert Muldoon
Preceded byGlen Elna Rowling
Succeeded byNaomi Joy Lange
Personal details
Thea Dale Flyger

(1927-03-13)13 March 1927
Huntly, New Zealand
Died24 February 2015(2015-02-24) (aged 87)
Auckland, New Zealand
(m. 1951; died 1992)
Known forCommunity service, wife of prime minister

Dame Thea Dale Muldoon DBE QSO (née Flyger, 13 March 1927 – 24 February 2015) was the wife of Robert Muldoon, who was the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984. She was also known for her community service.

Early life and family

Born at Pukemiro near Huntly in 1927, Thea Dale Flyger was the second child of Annie Eveleen (née Rainbow) and Stanley Arthur Flyger, an engineer, surveyor and builder.[1] She was educated at Belmont Primary School and Takapuna Grammar School on Auckland's North Shore.[1] Raised as an Anglican, she had a strict upbringing and taught Sunday School at St Michael's Church in Bayswater.[1][2]

After leaving school, she worked at a public accounting firm and took night classes in accountancy at Seddon Memorial Technical College. She later worked at Holeproof Ltd in the costing office.[1]

Junior National Party and marriage

The Muldoons on their wedding day
The Muldoons on their wedding day

Muldoon attended both National and Labour Party meetings with her father, and joined the Junior National Party mostly for social reasons. She met her future husband, Robert Muldoon, at a seminar on voluntary unionism in 1947 and they began going out together the following March. From 1947 she served as the North Shore representative on the Divisional Junior Education and Political Committee. The couple were married at Holy Trinity Church, Devonport on 17 March 1951, and had three children between December of that year and 1956.[1]

During her husband's term as Prime Minister from 1975 to 1984, Muldoon took an active role in civic affairs, regularly speaking at functions, opening buildings and visiting the sick and infirm. She was the first wife of a New Zealand prime minister to have a full-time secretary.[2] Robert Muldoon died in 1992, aged 70.[3]


Her husband was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 1984 New Year Honours, and she was thus styled Lady Muldoon.[4] She was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service in the 1986 New Year Honours.[5] In the 1993 New Year Honours, a few months after her husband's death, she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the community.[6]

Later life

After her husband's death, Muldoon continued to contribute to community affairs. She served as patron of the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand,[7] Hospice New Zealand,[8] and the Auckland Lily Society,[9] and founding patron of Hospice North Shore.[10]

Muldoon died in Auckland on 24 February 2015, aged 87.[3][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Gustafson, Barry (2000). His way: a biography of Robert Muldoon. Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 27–30. ISBN 1869402367. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Dame Thea Muldoon dies". Radio New Zealand News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Dame Thea Muldoon has died". Stuff.co.nz. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  4. ^ "No. 49584". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1983. p. 33.
  5. ^ "No. 50362". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1985. p. 30.
  6. ^ "No. 53154". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1992. p. 29.
  7. ^ "2013 VAC committee". Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. October 2013. Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Terms of trade". Warkworth Wellsford Hospice. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Dame Thea Muldoon". New Zealand Herald. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Board & exec" (PDF). Hospice North Shore Annual Report: 3. 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Dame Thea Muldoon dies aged 87". New Zealand Herald. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.