14 Nov 2018

Business and sporting leader Sir John Anderson dies

4:41 pm on 14 November 2018

The prominent business and sporting leader Sir John Anderson has died at the age of 73.

Sir John Anderson has died on 13 November 2018

Sir John Anderson in 2007. Photo: Photosport

He died in his Wellington home last night.

His son David Anderson said there will be a service at Old St Paul's next Tuesday.

Sir John was one of New Zealand's top bankers and was prominent in public service.

Born in Wellington, he was educated at Christ's College and Victoria University and worked as an accountant in Wellington and Melbourne.

He returned to New Zealand in 1972, moving into merchant banking at a subsidiary of the National Bank. He became the National Bank's chief executive and a director in 1990 and retained the top position when the bank merged with the ANZ in 2003.

Sir John first become involved in the public sector 10 years earlier when the Labour government made him a director of the then-state-owned New Zealand Steel and Petrocorp.

Sir John Anderson in 2007.

Sir John Anderson in 2007. Photo: PhotoSport

From 1989, he was chair of the advisory board of the debt management office of Treasury.

He later chaired the schools consultative group and in 1994 headed the prime minister's employment taskforce.

In 1995 he was knighted for his services to business management, banking and the community and was named the National Business Review's New Zealander of the Year.

In the same year, he received the inaugural Blake Medal for Leadership.

Sir John became the chairman of Television New Zealand in 2006, taking over after a three-way row between his predecessor Craig Boyce, then chief executive Ian Fraser, and the government.

At the end of 2007, the government appointed him chair of the troubled Capital and Coast District Health Board, charging him with improving its problems with allegations of bungled care, soaring deficits and low staff morale. A few months later he was appointed Commissioner of the Hawke's Bay District Health Board when its board was sacked by Health Minister David Cunliffe.

Sir John was also involved in sports administration and in 1995 became chairman of New Zealand Cricket.

He was also on the Board of T&G and chaired PGG Wrightson.

He's survived by his wife Carol, two of his three children and five grandchildren.