Sir Eion tells students dare to dream’


One of New Zealand’s most successful businessmen has encouraged Wakatipu High students to dare to dream. 

Local philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar (right) shared life lessons last Tuesday with a group of Year 11 pupils as part of a nationwide initiative sparked by the Sir Peter Blake Trust. 

Edgar – who helped rescue Otago University in the 1980s and is heavily involved with the Wakatipu Trails Trust, Queenstown Resort College and Winter Games – urged them to aim high in their careers. 

“If you want to advance, go to the top,” he says. 

“The harder you work, the luckier you get. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put the hours in.” 

Edgar, who enjoyed a 31-year partnership at prominent finance firm Forsyth Barr, revealed that he was an average student at Dunedin’s John McGlashan College. 

“It took me two years to get my School Certificate and two years to get my University Entrance. The only reason I managed to go to university was because my headmaster liked cricket and I managed to bowl a ball straight.” 

At Otago University he discovered a passion for commerce, and excelled. 

Edgar told the local teens that it’s important to find a career they’ll like. 

“You spend an awful lot of time at work so you have to enjoy it,” he says. 

His other tips include respecting parents and guardians, staying in touch with school friends after leaving, saying thank you and being honest. 

“In making any decision, be happy that you can read about it on the front page of a newspaper.” 

Edgar adds: “Tell the truth so you never have to remember what you said. The one thing that’s stood me in great stead is that.”