Sir John Davies has had successful careers in both business and politics but considers one of his greatest achievements to be saving a square of land from development while he was mayor of Queenstown from 1983 to 1989.
The $1.8 million council purchase was advocated by the mayor for months before the councillors were convinced and Sir John now describes it as “the heart and soul of Queenstown.”
He retains a 100% ownership of Trojan Holdings, a family tourism company that he developed after leaving the mayoralty. It now owns an impressive range of subsidiaries around the country, including a 40% interest in AJ Hackett Bungy and ownership of the Mount Hutt, Coronet Peak and Remarkables ski fields.
These days, the company is directed by his son Mike and daughter Jacqui. Mainly operating out of Queenstown, the company’s influence and success led to Sir John being knighted for services to tourism in 2013.
These past few years have been strong for Trojan Holdings, which embarked on a $45 million upgrade to its Remarkables ski field in 2014. NZSki, which is entirely owned by Trojan Holdings, has about 35% of the New Zealand market and attracts more than half a million visits to its fields each year.