Roger Halliwell, founder of RJ Liquorice, died on Monday aged 77.

A local businessman, Halliwell was best known for the RJ Licorice brand. He bought Grannies Licorice in 1983, a business going into receivership and he sold it at some stage, only to buy it back in 1994, when the next owner, Nestle, moved production to Auckland.

That's when he started the RJ's brand and 21 years later the company celebrated its continued success with a record-breaking sized piece of licorice. RJ was sold to an Australian family in 2015, when Halliwell decided to retire at 73.

He had run several successful businesses around Levin over the years, including paint shops, and had a reputation of turning around failing businesses. He was an active member of his community.


He has been described as "a gentleman of great positivity, kind heartedness and immense generosity who touched many peoples' lives".

He leaves behind his wife Dixie and children and their partners, Angela and Richard, Jacqui and Sean, Regan and Mel, and Amy and Michael as well as grandchildren Geordie, Benson, Meg, Alex, Max, Sam, Harriet and Charlie.

A celebration of Roger's life will be held on Friday 30 August at 2.30pm at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 2 Hill Street, Wellington, followed by a private cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Mary Potter Hospice would be appreciated and may be left at the entrance of the church.