John Luxton, a former National Cabinet minister, has died aged 75.
He first became a Cabinet minister after the 1990 election under Prime Minister Jim Bolger. He also served under Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.
His roles over his nine years as minister included energy, housing, lands, police, commerce, forestry, agriculture, and Māori affairs.
Luxton followed his father Jack Luxton into politics. Before becoming an MP, he was involved in dairy farming and international consulting.
He also helped to start several dairy companies, including Open Country Cheese and Kaimai Cheese companies. He was a director of Tatua Co-op Dairy Company, Landcare Research, Wallace Corporation Ltd and Royal NZ Ballet.
More recently, he was chair of the Asia NZ Foundation, DairyNZ, and the Pouarua Farm Partnership.
He was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 2003, and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the dairy industry in 2017.
He died after a long illness.
National Leader Judith Collins acknowledged his passing on behalf of the party.
“John was strongly committed to his constituents and displayed outstanding loyalty to his electorate and the National Party,” she said.
“Affable and courteous to a tee, John will also be fondly remembered for his keen sense of humour and kindness.
“My sincere condolences, and those of the New Zealand National Party, go to John’s family and friends.”
Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard also paid his tributes.
"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 said.
“John was always extremely approachable and immensely knowledgeable.”