John Baird was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to business and governance.

Morgane Solignac/Stuff

John Baird was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to business and governance.

John Baird of Marlborough likes to get things done and has done so for the past 45 years.

Baird’s services to business and governance were recognized as he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in honor of the Queen’s birthday.

A former managing director of Ceramco Corp Ltd and Goodman Fielder Wattie, Baird has extensive experience in marketing and business management, particularly in the food industry.

“It was something I loved. It’s always changing, there are always ups and downs, just like life.”

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“I have enjoyed my time working with many great colleagues in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

“When I retired I did a Bachelor of Arts in Maori Studies because I was interested in it.”

He then became a member of the Waitangi Tribunal from 1999 to 2012 and completed the Te Rohe Potae report.

Born in Invercargill, Baird has lived in Christchurch, Auckland and Australia.

Upon retiring nine years ago, Baird moved to Marlborough where he had a bachelor’s degree for years.

Baird has provided board or audit governance and risk governance in various ways for Auckland Rugby, the Eden Park Trust Board, the Comfort Group and Mercury Energy, as well as a number of small and medium enterprises.

He was a volunteer for the Graeme Dingle Foundation when it was first established in Auckland before becoming manager as it began to grow.

“I really admire the Dingle Foundation in Marlborough,” he said.

“They’ve done a tremendous amount of great work, they’ve organized loads of events like the skydiving fundraiser [Drop for Youth] or the conference on the future of work.”

Baird was also a director of Marlborough Enterprise Trust between 2016 and 2020, and shared his expertise with local businesses as a volunteer mentor.

“It’s wonderful to see people coming up with a plan and, like I said, getting things done.”

Baird, 78, continues to work as a director of a Christchurch-based forklift company.

“But it only takes a small part of my life. I’m very busy not doing much.”