Don Fraser - his Life and Work

Brought up on a sheep and beef farm at Te Awamutu, Don attended Lincoln College gaining a Diploma in Agriculture and another Diploma in Valuation and Farm Management. In the process he gained experience in mixed cropping in mid-Canterbury, sheep and beef on the East Coast, and dairying near Tokoroa.

In the early 70s Don started at a rural farm appraiser for the then State Advances Corporation, later the Rural Bank, which was eventually taken over by the National Bank. Based in Hamilton, Don gained massive experience in the problems that farmers must face with finance. He helped many farmers onto their first farms.

In the mid-70s Don started Fraser & Co Valuers Ltd. Focusing again on farmers he developed the largest rural practice in the Waikato,. In the mid-90s he identified the opportunity to specialise in farm finance, and quickly realised that farmers need more than finance alone. He gained an enviable reputation for being up-front, sorting the issues quickly, and telling people exactly how it is.

Coupled with this busy life Don owned and operated a high-producing dairy farm. His own personal experience of matrimonial problems gave him a deeper understanding of the devastating effect that such events can have on the business and the people.

In the mid-90s Don purchased a 38 ha dairy support block just out of Cambridge; this was replaced some ten years later by a high producing avocado orchard at Waihi Beach, where he is now based.

Don also owns large commercial buildings in the centre of Hamilton and a block in Cambridge.

Don now does mainly mediation and family work, assisting farming families to sort through their issues.

Farm leasing and the issues around it also make up a big part of his work.

Don is ably supported by his wife Gabriella, the holder of a teaching degree and a real estate qualification. She is Practice Manager, smart, and a high-level communicator fully conversant with all the firm's business interests.

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