Sir Dryden Spring

1952 to 1954

I grew up in Walton and went to Walton School.

I attended Matamata College from 1952 to 1954.  Peter Loveridge, Roger Loveridge and Graham Kneebone were all Head Boy in those years.  My academic career was pretty undistinguished (I was more interested in sport) and left school to work on the farm without even sitting School Certificate, but I did manage to win the 5th Form Speech Contest in 1954.

I was Vice Captain of the 3rd XV rugby team which was unbeaten for two years and Junior Athletics Champion in 1952. I had great respect for teachers, Eric Fisher, Doug Olson and Doug Scott who were my rugby and athletics coaches. It was Doug Scott who got me interested in Commerce which subsequently became my lifelong passion.

After farming for 25 years, an occupation which I really enjoyed, I have been fortunate to have had a most interesting career in international business.  I was Chairman of New Zealand Dairy Board for almost ten years, Chairman of ANZ Bank NZ and Chairman or a Director of many NZ and international companies.

While president of Waikato Federated Farmers I was chosen as New Zealand’s Outstanding Young Man of The Year” in 1973.  That Award enabled me to travel to Europe to study the EEC, now the European Union, which was about to have a major impact on New Zealand agriculture and on New Zealand’s trade.

During my business career, I put considerable effort into Trade Policy working with the New Zealand Government.  One of my more interesting roles was as the New Zealand Prime Ministers Nominee to the APEC Eminent Persons Group which drafted the APEC Vision which APEC Leaders then adopted in1993 and which has now been largely implemented by APEC member countries.  I also served as a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council which advised APEC Leaders on business, trade and economic issues. This service was recognised in 1993 with the Honour of Knight Bachelor

I have been honoured with Honorary Doctorates by both Massey and Waikato Universities, and admitted as a Laureate of the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.

I now largely retired and my wife Margaret and I are living in Tauranga.  I have three sons and three daughters and twelve grandchildren.