Sir Ronald Davison, the former Chief Justice best known for his role in the Winebox Inquiry, has died.

A Herald death notice this morning says Sir Ronald died peacefully at his home on Thursday, aged 94.

His funeral will be held at Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in Parnell on Wednesday.

As the tenth Chief Justice, Sir Ronald headed the commission of inquiry into overseas company taxation, popularly known as the Winebox Inquiry.


The commission, which went from 1994 to 1997, looked into claims of corruption and incompetence in the Serious Fraud Office and Inland Revenue Department. It concluded there were no grounds to support the allegations against the agencies.

However, a later review by the High Court found Sir Ronald had made "very material" errors of law, reached invalid no-fraud conclusions and criticised NZ First leader Winston Peters without foundation in the commission's report.

Sir Ronald was also well known for sentencing the two captured Rainbow Warrior saboteurs, Alain Mafart and Dominique Prieur, to 10 years' jail.

The Herald subsequently named him our New Zealander of the Year for 1985.

Sir Ronald was the Chief Justice of New Zealand for 11 years.

Today's death notice says: "Our memories and his legacy will endure."

Sir Ronald's funeral will be followed by a private cremation.