Wellington honours recipients celebrate

Last updated 05:00 31/12/2013
Year Ended
ELEANOR CATTON: The writer became the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize for her 832-page, 19th Century- style work, The Luminaries.

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ELEANOR CATTON, AUTHOR:

Catton shot to fame in October after winning the prestigious Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries. Now the 28-year-old can add being made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit to her successes for the year.

Catton is now a lecturer in creative writing at the Manukau Institute of Technology. She is on a promotional tour through Britain, the United States and Canada. She was unavailable to comment last night.

JENNY BORNHOLDT, POET:

A new member of the New Zealand Order of Merit - says of her career: "It seems to have been almost by accident. It was just something I started doing a long time ago and all of a sudden it's something I've been doing for a very long time."

A former poet laureate, the Hataitai resident has written nine collections of poems and co-edited The Oxford Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in 2008.

Alongside her writing she has promoted New Zealand literature overseas.

GEOFF MURPHY, FILM MAKER: 

Geoff Murphy says he may have to join the establishment now he has an honour. "It's a bit confusing really," the Wellington director says of becoming an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

"I've always been an anti-establishment person."

During his career in film, starting in the 1970s, he made three undoubted classics of Kiwi cinema - Goodbye Pork Pie, Utu and The Quiet Earth - and helped to launch the careers of Lee Tamahori and Bruno Lawrence.

Utu Redux, a remastered director's cut, was released in July. He also worked alongside Alien 3 writer Vincent Ward, another film-maker to become an officer of the order.

"We all climbed on each other's shoulders."

Before hitting the big time Murphy was a trumpet player and singer-songwriter with the 1970s alternative comedy group Blerta and helped to establish the New Zealand Film Commission.

PRUE KELLY:

THE former Wellington High School principal transformed the school from one that was struggling financially, with dilapidated facilities and a declining role, in 1995, to a strong and flourishing one by the time she left at the end of 2012.

Despite her retirement, she has continued her work in education, recently spending eight months in Oman reviewing the Oman education system. She was there when the letter with news she was being made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit arrived at her Seatoun home.

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"My husband opened the letter. When I think about it, it's probably more a tribute to the great team at Wellington High School than Prue Kelly." She was awarded Wellingtonian of the Year in the education sector in 2011.

She said she would be taking it fairly quietly for the next little while, but was "looking to do other things to be useful, to see what sort of voluntary things I can do. But the same time there are grandchildren that I enjoy playing with too."

AMANDA SKOOG:

"Chuffed" ballet administrator Amanda Skoog becomes a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Skoog, of Kilbirnie, has been managing director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet since 2006 and served in various arts administrative roles in Europe and New Zealand for 20 years.

BARBARA ARNOTT:

Recently retired Napier mayor and former councillor Barbara Arnott's first thoughts on learning of her honour were of her parents and the people of Napier.

Mrs Arnott, given the QSO for services to local government and the community, says her parents are still contributing to their community in their 90s.

"I don't think I'll ever match what they've done. I think [the honour] is a reflection of Napier. The people responded so I had 12 fabulous years in which I could get things done."

PROF BOB BUCKLE: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and education. Pro vice-chancellor and dean of the Victoria University business school since 2008.

GRAHAM BLOW: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to astronomy. A scientific officer at Carter Observatory in Wellington for 16 years, organising the Comet Halley programme in 1985 and 1986.

EMERITUS PROF JOHN DAVIDSON: Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the arts. Retiring member of the Arts Council, long career in academic work and research, specialising in ancient Greek drama and myth.

DR GARY EVANS: Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science. A recipient of the inaugural Royal Society of New Zealand MacDiarmid Medal in 2011, he is a science leader at Industrial Research, developing drugs for treating malaria, bacterial infections and solid tumour cancers.

PAT HUBBARD: Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to early childhood education. Oversaw the administration of more than 50 early childhood education providers in Wellington, and involved with the National Council of Women.

JULE EINHORN: Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to tertiary education and art. Main mover behind the creation of the Ucol campus in Whanganui.

BELINDA CLARK: Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to the state. Secretary for justice and chief executive of the Ministry of Justice for more than a decade. Inaugural director of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

MARY HARRIS: Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to Parliament. Clerk of the House of Representatives, contributed to big improvements in the operation of Parliament.

NEVILLE HARRIS: Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to the state. Registrar of Companies from 1989 to 2013.

BILL MOORE: Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to state. Acting chief parliamentary counsel and compiler of statutes from 2011 to 2013.

JOHN PIKE: Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to the law. Retired as general counsel at the Crown Law Office this year.

ROLF GJELSTEN, HELENE POHL and DOUG BEILMAN: Members of the NZ String Quartet, all become members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

ALLAN CHISHOLM: Member of the NZ Order of Merit. A cellist, recognised for 38 years in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

- The Dominion Post

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