30 Jul 2015

Sir John Todd dies, aged 88

2:33 pm on 30 July 2015

Sir John Todd, the former head of one of New Zealand's largest companies has died aged 88, after a period of ill health.

The late Sir John Todd with Prime Minister John Key in 2011.

The late Sir John Todd with Prime Minister John Key in 2011. Photo: Supplied

Sir John chaired the Todd Corporation from 1987 until he retired in 2011.

He started his career aged 18 at the Todd Motors Assembly Plant in Wellington and worked up through the company, becoming managing director in 1968.

In 1987, when Todd Motors was sold to Mitsubishi, he succeeded his uncle - the late Sir Bryan Todd - as executive chairman of the Todd Group.

Sir John has led the Todd Corporation into many ventures in energy exploration, production, generation and distribution, as well as telecommunications and property.

The Todd family is widely considered to be New Zealand's wealthiest.

In an interview to the Dominion Post in 2011, Sir John said "making money is not a sin, but if you you are successful you have a moral responsibility to help others."

And he lived by that.

He was also one of the country's top philanthropists as well as a leading patron of the arts, and chairman of his family's charitable Todd Foundation.

The 200-odd members of the Todd family give away millions each year through their family foundation to groups working with children, families, science and the environment

Sir John himself was an ardent supporter of the arts, and a founding trustee of the Arts Foundation.

In 2009 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and was knighted in 2012 for services to business.