The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards

Media Releases

Luxton Receives Recognition for Industry Efforts

16 May 2016

A rural sector stalwart and former Government Minister has been recognised for his efforts in the dairy industry at the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

Hon John Luxton, QSO, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Trust Chairman Alister Body, in recognition for his long service to the dairy industry and wider agriculture sector.

“We have chosen John as he has dedicated himself to driving change not only on farm but also at an industry level,” Mr Body says.

“John is a quiet achiever. He is absolutely passionate about the dairy industry and, of all the roles he has had, bringing DairyNZ together after the merger of Dexcel and Dairy Insight has been a huge achievement.

“Nothing is a problem for John – he is approachable by all and relates to all ages within the industry. He is a huge advocate for farmers and promotes the industry widely.”

Mr Luxton stepped down from his role as the inaugural chairman of DairyNZ last year but remains active in a number of companies and organisations in the rural sector and retains extensive farming interests.

“It is fair to say John has continued a tradition of community, industry and public service by the Luxton family over many decades and generations. He has taken on those roles with strong values, huge integrity and with the best interests of those in the rural sector he champions,” Mr Body says.

Mr Luxton is co-Chair of the Waikato River Authority, Chair of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and iwi-owned Pouarua Farm Partnership, and a Director of Tatua Co-op Dairy Company, Wallace Corporation and a number of private farming companies.

He is a recipient of the Queen’s Service Order, the 2016 Lincoln University Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science, honoris causa, and an AC Cameron Award winner. He was elected to Parliament in 1987 in the then Matamata electorate, and was a Government Minister for nine years – including time as the Minister of Agriculture – before retiring in 2002.

His farming interests are in both the North and South Islands and ensure he supplies milk to Fonterra, Tatua and Westland Dairy Companies. He is a founder of Open Country Dairies and Kaimai Cheese companies.

He joins Gallagher Chief Executive and Chairman Sir William Gallagher (2011) and Massey University Professor Colin Holmes (2009) as the Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

The award was presented at the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards national awards dinner in Wellington on Saturday night May 14.

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra Farm Source, Honda Motorcycles, LIC, Meridian Energy and Ravensdown, along with industry partner Primary ITO.