Kerr’s Final Fight
New Zealand Business Roundtable leader Roger Kerr, once described by Sir Douglas Myers as a “national treasure”, has died. He was 66. Kerr was born in Nelson in 1945 and spent his childhood on his parents’ Appleby dairy farm, attending Appleby Primary and Waimea College. He attended the University of Canterbury, graduating with a Master of Arts, and Victoria University, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration. From 1986-1994 he was a director of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand and a member of the Council of Victoria University of Wellington from 1995 to 1999, and a member of the Group Board of Colonial Limited in Melbourne from 1996 to 2000. Kerr supported free market polices and was a vocal proponent of Rogernomics. Earlier this year he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business. Previous awards included the Tasman Medal in 1994 in recognition of his contribution to public policy and the NZIER Qantas Economics Award in 2001. He paid tribute to his sons when he received his Order of Merit, saying he was delighted to receive it for his family’s sake. “Especially my three wonderful sons, who did not see as much of me when they were growing up as they might have needed to, when I was so heavily committed to my work.” In April he said he had “slain a few dragons in my time, and I’m gonna give [metastatic melanoma] a good old fight.” Sadly, Kerr’s cancer was one dragon he couldn’t slay and he passed away, surrounded by his family.
Roger Kerr: 17 January 1945 – 28 October 2011