Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

National luminary married in private rest home ceremony

Peter Goodfellow and Desley Simpson. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Peter Goodfellow and Desley Simpson. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

National Party powerbrokers Peter Goodfellow and long-term partner Desley Simpson have married in an intimate service at a resthome.

Goodfellow, president of the National Party and heir to a $500 million fortune, married Simpson in a chapel at the resthome of St Andrew's Village in Glendowie where his elderly father lives.

A staff member said last Sunday's ceremony was very private with only a small number of guests attending.

Simpson, chairwoman of the Orakei Local Board, is the ex-wife of Coromandel National MP Scott Simpson, a one-time rival of Goodfellow for the National Party presidency.

The couple have been together for more than five years, and were engaged in 2011, with Goodfellow splashing out $7000 on an engagement ring.

Goodfellow was previously married to Libby Black, but they went through an acrimonious divorce and Black returned to her native United States last year.

The newlyweds have been tight-lipped about the wedding, with neither returning calls and guests sworn to secrecy.

The day before the ceremony the couple lunched with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and joined them for the opening of the Avanti Velodrome near Cambridge.

Desley Simpson posted "selfie" pictures on Facebook of her day out with the royals.

The 2013 NBR Richlist placed the Goodfellow family 15th equal with assets of $500m.

The family fortune was built in farming before moving into fishing, finance and clothing.

Peter's father, Sir Douglas, 97, continued to manage his business interests until well into his nineties.

In 1996, the NZ Listener reported he gave $285m away to charity - the largest donation at the time.

- Herald on Sunday

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