Stewart, Robertson Huntly

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Sir Robertson Huntly Stewart - KBE

Christchurch-born plastics engineer Robertson Stewart founded Plastics & Diecasting Ltd (the future PDL Industries) in 1944 and was involved in the design, production and manufacture of all products in the formative years.

His strength was his ability to adapt PDL, which expanded into electrical goods and consumer appliances, was a product of industry protection but the business also thrived when the economy was deregulated. Exporting was part of that success story.

Stewart led a trade mission to the Pacific Islands in 1962, was deputy leader on the first trade mission to Southeast Asia in 1964 and led another six trade missions to the region. He also made substantial contributions to the arts and culture in Canterbury.