Cardinal John Dew was born in Waipawa and attended Catholic schools through high school. He studied philosophy at Holy Name Seminary in Christchurch and theology at Holy Cross Seminary in Dunedin.
John was ordained a priest in 1976 and became auxiliary bishop of Wellington in 1995. He was appointed as the sixth Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington and the Metropolitan of New Zealand in 2005.
Pope Francis announced in 2015 that John would be one of 20 new cardinals elevated at a consistory at the Vatican.