Wednesday, 24 November 2021 07:55

Tributes to a dairy champion

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Born in Morrinsville, John Luxton came from a family of dairy farmers. Born in Morrinsville, John Luxton came from a family of dairy farmers.

Fonterra chairman Peter McBride has paid tribute to dairy industry leader John Luxton, who passed away earlier this month.

McBride says he had a huge amount of respect for Luxton, a former Agriculture Minister and founding chairman of DairyNZ.

McBride recalled first meeting Luxton during the Christchurch earthquake in 2016.

They were both in Christchurch attending a meeting on the Trans Pacific Partnership with US officials. After the meeting was disrupted by the earthquake, McBride and Luxton ended up walking across the devastated city.

"We were also part of several overseas trade delegations," McBride told Dairy News.

"He was a lovely guy."

Born in Morrinsville, Luxton came from a family of dairy farmers. The Luxton family have continuously supplied milk to small independent processor Tatua since 1921. Luxton served on the Tatua board for 24 years, stepping down in 2018.

He was also the co-chair of Waikato River Authority until 2020 and the founding chairman of DairyNZ. He stepped down from DairyNZ in November 2015 after more than a decade of service.

DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel says Luxton will be remembered for his longstanding, unfaltering contribution to the rural sector, particularly dairy.

"John has had a major role in the success of New Zealand's dairy industry. John has always demonstrated strong leadership and longstanding commitment to the sector," says van der Poel.

"John was instrumental in a number of significant policy and legislative changes in New Zealand, including the foundation policy work that led to the formation of Fonterra and the deregulation of producer boards.

"One of his major achievements was shaping the development of DairyNZ - the first industry-good body of its kind and the largest in Australasia."

He played a major role in heloing guide the dairy industry through a significant period of change, which would soon become New Zealand's number one export industry.

He was instrumental in supporting a successful, viable, competitive dairy industry in New Zealand, with the sector employing 42,240 people and contributing $13.2 billion to New Zealand's export revenue during his time as chair of DairyNZ.

Luxton was a National MP for 15 years and held various portfolios including agriculture. He entered Parliament in 1987 as MP for Matamata, replacing his father Jack Luxton.

Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard says Luxton's political contribution was significant across numerous ministerial roles, including his time as Minister of Agriculture.

"The dairy sector would not be the same if it weren't for John's work towards forming DairyNZ and then chairing the organisation between 2008 and 2015.

"He spearheaded the formation of several dairy companies, including Open Country Cheese and Kaimai Cheese company."

More like this

Tell NZ's world-leading story!

DairyNZ was keen for Climate Change Minister James Shaw to go into bat for Kiwi dairy farmers and the split gas approach at the recent COP26.


Dairy tops organic exports

Dairy has been named as New Zealand’s largest organic sector with exports of $153.8 million, up 55% from 2017.

Machinery & Products

Gongs for John Deere

The tractor of the Year 2022 Awards, held at the recent EIMA show in Bologna, handed out a brace of…

Digital pre-start safety checks

According to numbers published by ACC, more than 60 farm-related injuries are reported every day, leaving much room for improvement.

JV for Bucket Test App

Irrigation NZ and global farm management company CropX have established a joint venture agreement for the Bucket Test app.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Poo-powered BMW

OPINION: Car maker BMW is partnering with a California dairy farm to turn effluent into clean energy to power its…

Not bad

OPINION: New Zealand may be a minnow on the global stage but here’s another example how our ag sector punches…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter