James Fletcher Jnr

Sir James Muir Cameron Fletcher ONZ (25 December 1914 – 29 August 2007),[1] often known as Jim or JC[2] Junior, was a New Zealand industrialist known for heading Fletcher Construction, one of the country's largest firms. His father, also Sir James Fletcher, founded the company in 1908.

Sir James Fletcher

James Muir Cameron Fletcher.jpg
Born(1914-12-25)25 December 1914
Dunedin, New Zealand
Died29 August 2007(2007-08-29) (aged 92)
Auckland, New Zealand
OccupationManaging Director Fletcher Holdings 1942–1979
Chairman of Fletcher Holdings from 1979 to 1981
President and director of the Fletcher Challenge 1981–1990.
Spouse(s)Vaughan Gunthorp

Early life and familyEdit

Fletcher was born in Dunedin, New Zealand on Christmas Day 1914. He was James Senior's second son. In 1942, the year Fletcher Jnr became head of Fletcher Holdings, he married his office assistant, Margery Vaughan Gunthorp (born 9 February 1912 at Balclutha).[3] She was treasurer of the Mental Health Foundation, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours.

James and Vaughan Fletcher had three children: Jim, Angus, and Hugh Fletcher. Their eldest son Jim was killed by an intruder at his Bay of Plenty bach (holiday home) on New Year's Eve 1993. Angus married Christine Fletcher, former Minister of the Crown and Mayor of Auckland, and Hugh now runs Fletcher Holdings.[citation needed]

Fletcher ConstructionEdit

In 1937, Fletcher joined his father's construction business. Following the election of the First Labour Government in 1935, Fletcher senior established an enduring friendship with the government, leading to Fletchers' building some of the first state houses in New Zealand.[2] When Fletcher senior was seconded by the government in 1942, his son took over the running of Fletcher Holdings.[2] At the time he was just 27 years old.[4] Among his achievements was the forestry joint venture with the Holland National Government in the 1950s to build the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company mill at Kawerau. He was chairman of Fletcher Holdings from 1972 to 1981 and was president of the new Fletcher Challenge conglomerate from 1981.[2][4] He resigned as a director of the company in 1990.

Honours and awardsEdit

In the 1980 New Year Honours, Fletcher was appointed a Knight Bachelor, for services to industry and the community.[5] In the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand, the country's highest civilian honour.[6]


  1. ^ Fletcher Trust (30 August 2007). "Sir James Fletcher dies at 92". Scoop. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "University of Auckland Business History Project - Fletcher Challenge". University of Auckland. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Biography - Lady Fletcher". Fletcher Trust.
  4. ^ a b Graeme Hunt (31 August 2007). "Sir James Fletcher, the mild-mannered man of steel". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  5. ^ "No. 48043". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 31 December 1979. p. 25.
  6. ^ "Queen's Birthday honours list 1997". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 17 January 2020.

Further readingEdit

  • Goldsmith, Paul (2009). Fletchers: A Centennial History of Fletcher Building (hardback). Auckland: Davia Ling Publishing. ISBN 978-1-877378-35-5.
  • Parker, Selwyn (1994). Made in New Zealand: The Story of Jim Fletcher (hardback). Auckland: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-59951-0.
  • Smith, Jack (2009). No Job Too Big: A History of Fletcher Construction, Volume I: 1909-1940 (hardback). Wellington: Steele Roberts. ISBN 978-1-877448-69-0.