Neil Darroch 1935 -2020


Neil Darroch - FNZIV (Life) FPINZ (Life)
1935 -2020 

By John Darroch

Neil Darroch was born on the 8th of July 1935 and passed away on 1 December 2020 at Beach Haven Care Home in Auckland, leaving behind two children and six grandchildren.

Neil had a long and fulfilling career as a valuer, based mainly in Auckland. He graduated from Lincoln College in 1958 as a Rural Field Cadet with a Diploma of Valuation and Farm Management, then worked for some 10 years as a field officer with the Lands & Survey Department, working all over New Zealand.

Upon moving to Auckland, he started the NZIV professional urban exams in 1967. In 1968 he joined the Auckland Harbour Board as a deputy property officer and in 1970 he set up N K Darroch and Associates Ltd a private practice of valuers and property consultants in Auckland.

At the time he was the first person from Lincoln to successfully move from Rural to Urban Valuation.

As the company grew a number of well- known valuers came on board including Chris Seagar, Guy Ashton and Warwick Marsh. A little later Brett Smithies, Sean Molloy and Alan Wiltshire joined.

In 1981, Neil’s then expanded business joined with Simpson Horsley Nyberg and Stewart from Wellington to form NZ’s largest, financially integrated national valuation practice.

The company was for many years “the place to work” and many of NZ’s now leading valuers spent time there. In the early years the company grasped the emerging International Valuation Standards, and with a good understanding of the need to provide clients with market valuations rather than historical cost reporting, rode a wave of work in the corporate and government sectors.

An addition to his commercial work, Neil worked on many arbitrations, tribunals and expert witness assignments. He was an expert valuer for marine assets and sea beds as well as Tourism and Hotels and Hospitality throughout NZ and the Pacific. He also worked on the MFAT portfolio in the Pacific.

One of Neil’s more interesting assignments was in the provision of valuation advice to the Nuclear Claims Tribunal in respect to the loss of use and value of Bikini Atoll resulting from nuclear contamination dating back to 1946.

The client here was “the defender of the fund” which was set up to compensate the dispossessed landowners. He had a particular expertise in customary land tenure matters, land resource development and land policy in the Pacific Islands.

In 1999 he formed a smaller firm with his son John and then retired about 2010.

Neil started with the NZIV in 1964 and joined the Auckland Branch Committee in 1975 and was branch chairman in 1977-1978. He became a member of the Property Management Institute in 1978.

He was a member of the Institute of Valuation and Estate Management (Fiji), and an associated member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and was chairman of the Massey University Property Foundation from 1994 – 1998.

Neil was awarded the John Harcourt Memorial Award in 2002, principally for his role as organising committee chairman of the Pan Pacific Congress of Appraisers & Valuers held in Auckland in 2000.

In 2009 he was awarded Life Membership.

Neil also lectured at Auckland University over a number of years and participated as a speaker at seminars and conventions.

Neil gave untiring service to the valuation and property profession in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and was held in high esteem by fellow practitioners and by the business community in New Zealand.
Outside of work Neil liked nothing better than to go boating or to his beloved Great Barrier Island.