Agricultural leaders and politicians are honouring the life of former National Cabinet minister and dairy industry leader John Luxton, who died aged 75 yesterday.
Federated Farmers passed on its condolences to the former Minister of Agriculture's family and friends.
"We pay our respects to acknowledge and praise the work John did for New Zealand agriculture, especially the dairy sector," Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard said.
Luxton was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2002 and his political contribution was significant across numerous ministerial roles, including his time as Minister of Agriculture, Hoggard said.
"The dairy sector would not be the same if it weren't for John's work towards forming DairyNZ and then chairing the organisation between 2008 and 2015.
"He spearheaded the formation of several dairy companies, including Open Country Cheese and Kaimai Cheese company."
Luxton was also a director of Tatua Co-op Dairy Company.
Hoggard said Luxton was always extremely approachable and immensely knowledgeable.
"It was humbling to have him praise me when introducing me to speak to his Rotary Club earlier this year, given that his list of accomplishments far exceeds anything I have done."
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters also offered his condolences to Luxton's family.
"It's a very very sad day he was only 75 years of age. I think a lot of people remember him as a real gentleman," he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"He came from a farming background and a serious political background as well because his father had been in parliament for 21 years."
Luxton's mother also stood out to Peters, who said she "seemed to have the best political vein of them all".
"I remember her with great affection because she was very clever, very smart."
Luxton was chairman of DairyNZ from 2008 to 2015.
DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel and chief executive Dr Tim Mackle paid tribute to Luxton's lifetime of service and unfaltering contribution to the dairy industry.
Mackle remembered Luxton as being supportive and a "statesman and diplomat who could bring people together".
"He led by values, had enormous integrity, and always put the best interests of those in the rural sector first. We will miss him."
Van der Poel said Luxton was instrumental in guiding a generation of rural leaders, many of whom went on to hold leadership roles within the sector.
"From myself personally, but also from the whole Board, we will always be indebted to John for this contribution," he said.
"His legacy will live on. It was a privilege working with John and we send our deepest sympathy at this very sad time to his family."