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Sir John Todd, one of NZ's richest men, dies aged 88

Sir John Todd, the head of one of New Zealand's wealthiest families, has died.

The 88-year-old passed away at his Wellington home last night following a time of ill health, NZME reports.

Sir John was a business leader and a leading patron of the arts, he was the head of the Todd Corporation and also one of the country's top philanthropists.

He was also the chairman of his private family's charitable Todd Foundation.

Sir John's son, Mike, said in a statement to NZME: "Our father was a highly respected New Zealander who made a significant contribution to business and philanthropy. He was a man of enterprise and grace and he will be greatly missed.

"Our family salutes him for the work he did in the service of our wonderful family enterprise."

Sir John, who retired in 2011 and was knighted only weeks later, held a business empire worth about $3 billion.