Peter Egan is a man who started his working life as an accountancy clerk, switched to the practical and trained as a butcher and subsequently became general manager of his family’s butchershops in Gisborne. He moved on to larger roles in the meat industry, served on the national industry association executive and then drove the development of a mutton export business beforeembarking on the establishment of a sophisticated boneless meat processing operation to prepare pot roast product taking lamb from the farm to the United Kingdom customer as a packaged item.His work and standing in the industry saw him appointed as chair of Freesia Investments to focus on a restructure of a major portion of the New Zealand meat industry.
An influencer and force for change in the sector he was awarded the 1990 Commemoration Medal for Services to New Zealand. He subsequently became an Officer of the New Zealand Order ofMerit. In 1993 our guest started a meat processing and exporting organization, Greenlea Premier Meats, and as chairman he drove that from concept to arguably the most efficient meat processingoperation in the country. In terms of vision, utilization and yield it sets the highest industry standards. Where others in the business cry “difficult” the Egan management team guided by hisphilosophy find opportunity. Peter has served as a director on numerous boards and that includes those outside the industry he has made his life in. He has served as a director of NZ Rail and deputy chair of the State Owned Landcorp, our biggest national farm enterprise.
Actually it is outside the primary industry that this man has made his mark as someone special. He has worked for charities, mentored youth and set the benchmark for the term “corporate socialresponsibility”. He personally picked up responsibility for the rebuild of the Hamilton Cathedral and managed that project in a way the church described as “tough minded but compassionate”.