Top of the honours list is Sir Murray Brennan. Made a Grand Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for his work against cancer. Sir Murray has been chair of surgery at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, the largest cancer centre in the world. He fundraises for Otago University and cancer research in New Zealand and has written more than 1,000 research papers.
Dame Adrienne Stewart is made DNZM for her work in promoting women in business, plus significant charitable and cultural contributions. She was the first female public company director in NZ, the first female chair of the Institute of Directors and was named Patron of the Year in 2009 by the Arts Foundation.
Dame Tariana Turia was and MP from 1996 to 2014. She was a Minister from 1999 to 2004 when she resigned from Labour to protest the Foreshore and Seabed Act. She was again a Minister from 2008 to 2014.
Sir Donald Rowlands has a near 50 year business career, including chief executive of Fisher & Paykel Industries, Chairman of Mainfreight and a director of Hamilton Jet. Sir Donald is also a gold medal winning rower.
Sir Neville Jordan is a technology entrepreneur and innovator. He was President of the Royal Society of NZ from 2006 to 2009. In 2012 he was awarded Wellingtonian of the Year. Born into poverty, he has a current net worth of over $60 million and founded microwave telecommunications company MAS Technology which achieved a NASDAQ listing.
Sir Paul Collins was the CEO of Brierley Investments in the 1980s. He also has been a top sports administrator as Chair of the NZ Sports Foundation, Chair of Sport NZ, a director of the Hurricanes and a director of NZ Rugby.
Sir Peter Williams QC is arguably NZ’s leading defence lawyer, having appeared in over 100 murder trials over 60 years. He is also a prominent penal reform campaigner.
Sir Ian Athfield is one of NZ’s top architects, if not the top. He is a former president of the NZ Institute of Architects, has won over 60 national and international architecture awards and in Wellington designed the Civic Square, Wellington Library, and Chews Lane Precinct.
Justice Sir Graham Panckhurst was a High Court Judge from 1996 to 2014. He was also the chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River mine disaster.
Many high achieving New Zealanders there, deservedly honoured.
UPDATE: Accidentally missed out Sir Brother Pat Lynch, for a lifetime of service to Catholic education. Has had a huge positive impact on many lives.