KELLIHER, Sir Henry Joseph
Business Magnate and art patron.
A new biography of Kelliher, Henry Joseph appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Henry Joseph Kelliher (Keliher) was born at Waikerikeri Valley, Clyde, Central Otago, on 2 March 1896, the son of Michael Keliher, a gold miner, and Mary, née Carter. He was educated at Clyde School and served with the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force during the First World War. In 1930 he founded and became managing director of Dominion Breweries Ltd. He is also the managing director of the Mirror Publishing Co., the Dawson Printing Co., and Kelliher and Co., Ltd., an Auckland indenting and merchandising firm, and was associated with Sir Ernest Davis in the New Zealand Distillery Co. Ltd. For a term, 1936–42, he was a director of the Bank of New Zealand and his interest in currency reform was shown in his book New Zealand at the Crossroads (1936) and in his submissions to the Monetary Commission of 1956. In 1934 he founded the League of Health of New Zealand Youth for setting up a scheme of free milk for school children. He is best known in recent years for his establishing the Kelliher Art Prize for landscape painting. His principal private interest is maintaining a breeding stud for racehorses and Ayrshire cattle on Puketutu Island in Manukau Harbour. He was knighted in 1963. He is also a knight in the Order of St. John.