The family of Fonterra's first chief executive Craig Norgate may have to wait more than two weeks before they can bring the 50-year-old's body home for a funeral in Taranaki.

Mr Norgate was in London with his wife Jane, son Jordan and daughter Alexandria when he collapsed and died earlier this week.

Alexandria - who had organised with her father to arrive in London to surprise her mother on the morning before he died - said the family had been told by the coroner it could take two-plus weeks before an autopsy could be performed.

"It is a terrible shame, as we just want to bring him home."


Mr Norgate was exploring business opportunities in the UK, and had spent the evening out in London with his family before his death.

Despite his success in the business world, he used to describe himself as a "boy from the 'Naki", and those who knew him have called him humorous, energetic, passionate, visionary, driven and inspirational.

Mr Norgate was Fonterra's first chief executive from 2001 to 2003, before he headed to PGG Wrightson, then the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

His most recent role was leading the transformation of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, which he completed in April.

Listen to Sir Colin Meads pay tribute to Craig Norgate on The Farming Show today:

He was also on the board of directors of Port Taranaki and of the New Plymouth District Council's investment fund.

"He was a great leader, and an inspiration. He was very quick and he always remembered a face and a name. He had wit and intelligence and he always cut to the chase," Port Taranaki boss Guy Roper said.

Read more:
The rise and fall, and rise and fall of Norgate
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Norgate to lead transtasman accountant merger

Mr Norgate was born in Hawera in 1965 and studied at Massey University before taking up a management role at the Department of Maori Affairs when he was 21.

He had also been a director of the New Zealand Dairy Board, Sealord Group and Mainland Products, and was chief executive of Kiwi Co-operative Dairies before it merged with others to form Fonterra.

In 2005, Mr Norgate won the New Zealand Herald Business Leader of the Year award and in 2008 he received the World Class New Zealander award, from Kea New Zealand, for business and finance.

He was reportedly New Zealand's first CEO on a million dollar salary.

Read more:
Fran O'Sullivan: Norgate - visionary and deal-maker
Craig Norgate - a down to earth guy

Mr Norgate was a family man who, when his children Dylan, Jordan and Alexandria were young and he was working in Taranaki, made a point of leaving the office at 5.30pm.

His other passion was rugby. A former director of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and the Taranaki Rugby Football Union, he had invested in the Chiefs, and had bought 19 tickets to the 2015 Rugby World Cup games.

"I am sad that you won't be able to walk me down the aisle one day, but grateful for the 21 years I was blessed with your love," his daughter said.

"And I know you will be devastated that you missed seeing the all blacks win the 2015 World Cup."

Tributes to a boy from the 'Naki:

"You were the most generous clever and kind hearted man I have ever known. You were an incredible dad to us, and an extremely doting husband to mum. I am sad that you won't be able to walk me down the aisle one day, but grateful for the 21 years I was blessed with your love." - Alexandria Norgate, daughter.

"Craig was visionary, inspirational, clever and energetic. He loved this country and NZ is the poorer for his passing." - Theresa Gattung, former Telecom CEO.

"Craig was a proud and passionate New Zealander who made a huge contribution to this country. He will be greatly missed." - John Wilson, Fonterra Chairman.

"Taranaki Rugby has lost one of its greatest supporters and he will be sadly missed." - Taranaki Rugby Union.

"RIP Craig Norgate and deep sympathy to his family for a fine man who passed too young. He was a good friend and will be much missed." - David Cunliffe, Labour MP.

"Sad to hear about Craig Norgate's death. Dealt with him when he was CEO of Fonterra. Always positive & constructive on employment relations." - Andrew Little, Labour leader.

"He was a great visionary man... He loved the game and he'd turn up everywhere - all over the world Craig would be at All Black tests - he just loved rugby." - Sir Colin Meads.

"He was a visionary with huge passion and huge drive to change the status quo and without his personal vision and that drive and determination we wouldn't have the PGW that we have today." - Mark Dewdney, PGG Wrightson chief executive.

At Kiwi he was one of the youngest ever industry leaders and now that carried on all the way through his career. He was a real visionary and the world needs visionaries like Craig.



• Born: 1965, Hawera
• 1983-85: Massey University, Bachelor of Business Studies, Accounting and Finance
• 1985: Maori Affairs Department
• 1987: Lowe Walker
• 1988: Lactose Company
• 1991: Joins Kiwi Co-operative Dairies
• 1994: Chief executive, Kiwi Co-operative Dairies
• 2001: Chief executive, Fonterra
• 2003: Sets up Rural Portfolio Investments
• 2004: Takeover of Wrightson
• 2005: Takeover of Williams & Kettle
• 2005: Merger with Pyne Gould Guinness to form PGG Wrightson
• 2007: Float of NZ Farming Systems Uruguay
• 2008: Wool business merger planned with Wool Grower Holdings
• 2012: chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants
• 2013: leading the transformation of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

A message from Fonterra Chairman John Wilson on the passing of former Fonterra CEO Craig Norgate:"It's deeply...

Posted by Fonterra on Tuesday, 7 July 2015