Skip to content.
Updated at 6:16 pm on 29 October 2011
Prime Minister John Key has joined those paying tribute to the executive director of the New Zealand Business Roundtable, Roger Kerr, who has died at the age of 66.
Mr Kerr, who was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma last year, died on Friday night.
Mr Key says Mr Kerr had a huge brain and applied that to trying to make New Zealand a more productive, competitive and successful economy.
"While I didn't agree with everything that Roger always said, I respected his intellectual capability to analyse ideas and coherently put them together.
"We pay tribute to his family as well - it's a very sad day for New Zealand."
Mr Kerr was best-known for his role in the Business Roundtable, New Zealand's leading public-policy think-tank. He was its executive director for a quarter of a century.
Before that, he was a senior figure at both the Treasury and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In 1994 he was awarded the Tasman Medal in recognition of his contribution to public policy and in 2001 the NZIER Qantas Economics Award.
NZIER chairman Michael Walls said then that no single individual had done more over the previous 15 years to persuade important parts of the business sector to support economic policies which, though often contrary to the interests of individual firms, were in the interests of the country as a whole.
Mr Kerr, who was a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and a member of the Institute of Directors, became a Companion of the Order of Merit in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list.
He is survived by his widow, ACT candidate Catherine Isaac, and three children from an earlier marriage.
ACT says Ms Isaac, who is No 2 on the party's list, will not be expected to actively campaign in the lead-up to the general election on 26 November.
Party leader Don Brash says Roger Kerr's death was not unexpected and he had strongly encouraged his wife to stand for ACT, despite his illness.
Describing Mr Kerr as a great New Zealander, Dr Brash says he was hugely influential on policy development over three decades.
Business Roundtable chair Roger Partridge says Mr Kerr dealt with his illness as he did any other issue in his life: he fought the cancer that killed him, right to the end.
When diagnosed, he said he would continue full-time in the job - and he did, virtually to the end.
Mr Partridge says he confronted his illness with bravery and good humour, and continued to contribute to the Roundtable from his bed.
Mr Partridge says Mr Kerr did more good for the welfare of all New Zealanders than any other person over the past 25 years and will be remembered for years.
Copyright © 2011, Radio New Zealand
Audio is categorised based on the frequency of the programme it was heard in. Click on the headings below to access the programmes. For the most recently published audio, go to the latest audio page.
Streams are in Windows Media format. Mac and Linux users may need to install additional software. Get help with audio
A selection of music interviews, reviews, videos, concerts, sessions, and performances.
Downloads and podcasts are available for selected programmes. Our podcast page has a complete list of feeds.
Help on using online audio: formats, software, podcasts, downloading, and troubleshooting.