Gisborne man was important player in dairy industry

John Shaskey obituary.

John Shaskey obituary.

A NATURAL: Former Gisborne man John Shaskey(pictured) lost his battle with cancer recently. The "boy from Kaiti" will be remembered as a major contributor to the New Zealand Dairy Industry and a natural businessman. Picture by North and South

GISBORNE-born and bred John Shaskey will be remembered as a natural businessman who played a significant role in the New Zealand dairy industry over his lifetime.

Mr Shaskey died last week at the age of 60 after a lengthy illness.

“John did very well for a boy from Kaiti with no university degree,” his brother Trevor told The Herald.

“John could be described as a “natural” businessman, much like a natural sportsman. He certainly had a flair for business.

“Although he did not attend university, he did get his university entrance at high school.”

He attended St Mary’s primary, Ilminister Intermediate and Waikohu College before finishing his high school at Spotwood College in New Plymouth.

“John was an outstanding scholar in the field of economics, although he never attended university.

“He said many times that it would be almost impossible to do what he did today without a degree.”

John Shaskey started work for the New Zealand Dairy Board (NZDB) as an 18-year-old, having spent his first two years at work as a shipping clerk for P and O.

“He went into the shipping department at the NZDB then into the marketing department and upwards.”

One of the founders of Fonterra

Mr Shaskey was one of the key people who set up Fonterra and was on the initial list of possible CEOs at the time of it’s initiation — a job that went to Craig Norgate.

“At the time John left Fonterra, he was the managing director of global sales with responsibility for all Fonterra’s international sales,” his brother said.

He headed dairy board and Fonterra operations in the Middle East based in Bahrain for a time, and he was in that region when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

He also worked out of Singapore and Mexico.

John Shaskey said in a North and South article last year that he was not happy when Fonterra changed their sales model to the auction format.

He left the organisation to set up his own successful business with two other ex-Fonterra employees.

“They started Global Dairy Network (GDN) which, I believe, is now the second-largest dairy exporter in New Zealand.”

GDN now has branches around the world.

“John was a very low-key guy and said to me recently that, while he is very proud of his achievements, he was most proud of being able to fly under the radar for much of his career.”

He lived in Hamilton for the past 12 years and will be farewelled there in a funeral service tomorrow.

John Shaskey is survived by his wife Jill, son Matthew and daughter Rachel.

Obituary by Murray Robertson

GISBORNE-born and bred John Shaskey will be remembered as a natural businessman who played a significant role in the New Zealand dairy industry over his lifetime.

Mr Shaskey died last week at the age of 60 after a lengthy illness.

“John did very well for a boy from Kaiti with no university degree,” his brother Trevor told The Herald.

“John could be described as a “natural” businessman, much like a natural sportsman. He certainly had a flair for business.

“Although he did not attend university, he did get his university entrance at high school.”

He attended St Mary’s primary, Ilminister Intermediate and Waikohu College before finishing his high school at Spotwood College in New Plymouth.

“John was an outstanding scholar in the field of economics, although he never attended university.

“He said many times that it would be almost impossible to do what he did today without a degree.”

John Shaskey started work for the New Zealand Dairy Board (NZDB) as an 18-year-old, having spent his first two years at work as a shipping clerk for P and O.

“He went into the shipping department at the NZDB then into the marketing department and upwards.”

One of the founders of Fonterra

Mr Shaskey was one of the key people who set up Fonterra and was on the initial list of possible CEOs at the time of it’s initiation — a job that went to Craig Norgate.

“At the time John left Fonterra, he was the managing director of global sales with responsibility for all Fonterra’s international sales,” his brother said.

He headed dairy board and Fonterra operations in the Middle East based in Bahrain for a time, and he was in that region when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

He also worked out of Singapore and Mexico.

John Shaskey said in a North and South article last year that he was not happy when Fonterra changed their sales model to the auction format.

He left the organisation to set up his own successful business with two other ex-Fonterra employees.

“They started Global Dairy Network (GDN) which, I believe, is now the second-largest dairy exporter in New Zealand.”

GDN now has branches around the world.

“John was a very low-key guy and said to me recently that, while he is very proud of his achievements, he was most proud of being able to fly under the radar for much of his career.”

He lived in Hamilton for the past 12 years and will be farewelled there in a funeral service tomorrow.

John Shaskey is survived by his wife Jill, son Matthew and daughter Rachel.

Obituary by Murray Robertson

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