NZ Herald business editor at large

Liam Dann: Thinker ready for challenge of change

Lloyd Morrison. File photo / Ross Setford
Lloyd Morrison. File photo / Ross Setford

About this time last year Lloyd Morrison invited me to see a movie. In fact, he invited a huge crowd of Auckland's business leaders including heads of investment banks, chief executives and others from the finance and investment sector.

He had decided that we all needed to see The Inside Job - a documentary that took the finance sector to task for the excesses and failures which led to the 2008 financial meltdown.

So, as he had done already in Wellington, he booked out three cinemas at a multiplex and used his star power to get us all there. Before the films he spoke to the crowd.

He warned us that we might not like what we were about to see and we might not agree with it all but, he said, there could be little doubt that something had gone terribly wrong with the system in which we were all involved and it was vital that we should take the time to step back and think about it.

Lloyd was a great believer in capitalism and the power of markets to create wealth and make things happen in this world.

But he was a thinker and an intellectual. He believed passionately that we should challenge ourselves with new ideas and different perspectives as a matter of course.

He was guided by a sense of fairness and a desire to think outside the box on almost any issue that engaged him.

While he leaves behind an investment empire, his legacy to the wider business community is the example he set in the public arena.

The idea of left-wing and right-wing politics really did not mean much to him.

He was an advocate for economic reform in this country and believed that quite radical change is needed in areas such as health and education if we are to maintain our quality of life and standard of living.

But he also saw that business could not operate in isolation from the community and after the crash of 2008 he saw that it needed to change and find new ways that would carry the public with it.

He loved debate and it is a great shame he will not be here in the thick of it as the country negotiates this difficult time in its history. But he was also happy to spark debate and inspire the ideas of others. Long may he continue to do that.

- NZ Herald

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NZ Herald business editor at large

Liam Dann is business editor at large at the New Zealand Herald. He has been a journalist for 20 years, covering business for the last 14 of them. He has also worked in the banking sector in London and travelled extensively. His passion is for Markets and Economics, because they are the engine of the New Zealand economy. He hosts The Economy Hub video show every Thursday.

Read more by Liam Dann

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