McKenzie, John Robert

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Sir John Robert McKenzie - KBE

Melbourne-born fancy-goods store proprietor John McKenzie he came to New Zealand for a holiday in 1909 and decided to set up a chain in New Zealand.

The first McKenzie store opened in Dunedin and the business grew rapidly. It became a public company in 1936 and 50 per cent of John McKenzie's shares were transferred to Rangatira, a private investment company.

By 1980, when the business was taken over, McKenzies (NZ) comprised 75 stores employing 1800 people.

The family name lives on in the J R McKenzie Youth Education Fund, set up in 1938 with a gift of £10,000, and the J R McKenzie Trust, set up in 1940 with £100,000.