Hugh Hunter Reynolds 1946-2021

Hugh Hunter Reynolds 1946-2021

It is with deep regret that the New Zealand Institute of Valuers and the Property Institute of New Zealand marks the recent passing of Hugh Hunter Reynolds. Hugh passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on 20 November at his home at Omokoroa.

Born in Blenheim, educated at Nelson College, Hugh graduated from Lincoln College in 1969 with a Diploma in Agriculture.

In 1969 Hugh was first employed by the then Government Valuation Department in the Invercargill office before moving to the Hokitika office. Hugh transferred to Rotorua in 1973 in the Valuation Department and served as a Senior Valuer.

On leaving the Valuation Department he joined the firm of John M Bell, Reid & Co, becoming a partner in 1982. In 1984 he formed Reid & Reynolds in partnership with Ron Reid. He was a senior partner in Reid and Reynolds Limited until his retirement in 2008.

Hugh became a Registered Valuer in 1973, advanced to an Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers in 1974 and was awarded a Fellowship in 2000.

Hugh was always committed to supporting the New Zealand Institute of Valuers and served on the local branch committee from 1977 to 2001. He also served on the National Council and was President of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers in 2001 and 2002. He was also a member of the Professional Practice Committee.

Since 1973 his valuation experiences in the Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty region focussed on all aspects of the rural and forestry markets. Increasingly more and more time was devoted to litigation work.
In 1992 Hugh became involved with major forestry interests in the valuations of forestry lands, predominantly for Crown forestry licence reviews. This work included numerous High Court and arbitration appearances while Hugh also appeared as an expert witness in arbitration at the High Court and the Land Valuation Tribunal.

Hugh identified the benefit of specialisation in the valuation profession. Being based in Rotorua, forestry was the obvious choice with New Zealand’s two largest forest managers based in the area. He became the lead valuer for both these companies and was instrumental in the change in Crown Forest Licence fee changes in the 1990’s from the prescribed percentage of land value to market rent levels. In 2005 saw the move to acting for future Māori landowners via the Treaty Settlement process. The first undertaken by Hugh was for local Iwi, Te Arawa, and while the 2006 Settlement Agreement was subsequently voided it paved the way for the Treelord’s settlement in 2008 whereby 8 Iwi shared 90% of Kaingaroa Forest lands.

He was also heavily involved in the case of Valuer General v Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd (commonly referred to as “Tahorakuri”), which concerned the valuation of land under the definitions of land in the Valuation of Land Act 1951. Hugh was also instrumental in challenging the Valuer General guidelines regarding deduction of value for Māori ownership in the Taheke Paengaroa Land Valuation Tribunal case.

He was highly respected by his peers as being a critical thinker, often challenging conventional thinking but always based on the analysis of the market and how it reacts. He had a high work ethic and was always extremely professional to deal with. Hugh always respected the need to have an enjoyable working environment in balance with family time. Morning teas were quite famous with his dry sense of humour and cheeky smile. He was also instrumental in mentoring numerous young valuers and was always willing to lend a helping ear to any valuation question whatever it may have been.

Outside of work Hugh was an avid yachtsman and adventurer. He once sailed to England and returned overland back to New Zealand part way on bicycle. He was a very active member of the Rotorua community with a strong ethos of giving back, serving in Rotary and various sports clubs. He was always set on retiring at sixty and had that firmly ensconced in the partnership agreement from the outset. This allowed Hugh and Heather to complete a wonderful array of adventures including circumnavigations of New Zealand, sailing to the islands on two occasions and various great walks and rides. On moving to Omokoroa, he naturally became a valued member of that community and a very active member of the Omokoroa Boat Club.

He will be sorely missed by all members of the Property Industry, and by his former clients, colleagues, and friends. Hugh is survived by Heather, his wife of 40 years, children Rachel and Campbell and their partners, and his three grandchildren. 

The Institute extends their deepest sympathy to Hugh’s family for their very sad loss.


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