3 Jun 2014

Sir Ron Carter receives highest honour

5:26 am on 3 June 2014

The highest accolade in the Queen's Birthday Honours has gone to business leader and engineer Sir Ron Carter.

Sir Ron Carter.

Sir Ron Carter. Photo: SUPPLIED

He becomes a member of the Order of New Zealand, which is limited to 20 living people. Current members include Sir Lloyd Geering, Helen Clark and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Sir Ron has been recognised for his contributions to regional and national infrastructure planning, governance, business and education.

He was executive chairman of the Beca engineering consultancies, overseeing major infrastructure and industrial projects in New Zealand as well as setting up Beca's operations in Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.

He served on the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch earthquakes, chaired the Committee for Auckland which laid the groundwork for the creation of the amalgamated Auckland Council. Sir Ron, who was knighted in 1998, was the founding chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority from 1992 until 1998.

Sir Ron said he is humbled by the honour which was only possible, he said, because of all the people he has worked with over many years. "I hope my recognition will be seen as recognition for all those who worked with me and made it possible for me to be noticed," he said.

Dame Susan Glazebrook and Dame Patricia Reddy.

Dame Susan Glazebrook and Dame Patricia Reddy. Photo: SUPPLIED

The honours list of 180 people also includes three new dames and four new knights.

Supreme Court judge Susan Glazebrook, High Court judge Lowell Goddard and businesswoman Dame Patricia Reddy have been made Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

New Zealand Film Commission chair Dame Patricia is being recognised for her services to the arts and business. She said she was delighted to be recognised for her life's work.

Dame Susan was appointed to the High Court in 2000 and served as a Judge in the Court of Appeal from 2002 to 2012. She was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court in the same year. She is being honoured for her service to the judiciary.

Dame Lowell has been a High Court Judge since 1995 and is thought to be the first person of Maori descent to be appointed to the Court.

Sir Richard Hayes.

Sir Richard Hayes. Photo: SUPPLIED

Athletics administrator Graeme Avery, search and rescue veteran Richard Hayes, educationalist John Hood and businessman Robert Stewart have all been knighted.

Sir Graeme has been involved in athletics for over 40 years and owns the Sileni Estates Winery near Hastings. He said the title will not change too much in his working life.

"I will still be the old codger, Graeme," he said. "Formally I will be known as that (Sir Graeme) but you are what you are and you are what you have been and will be in the future."

Te Anau based Sir Richard Hayes is one of only a few New Zealand helicopter pilots to record 30,000 hours flying experience and has been flying for about 40 years.

Sir Richard said the honour came out of left field.

"In fact, it just about almost brought to me to my knees," he said. "Normally I like to avoid this sort of thing like the plague. I'm terribly humbled and honoured to receive this honour."

Sir John Hood was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland from 1999 to 2004. During his time, new buildings were constructed on campus and there was a strengthening of research across the university. This led to a dramatic increase in funding and international research rankings.

Sir Robert Stewart founded SKOPE Industries Limited, a company that exported low energy commercial refrigerators in 1966. He and his wife Barbara established a charitable trust that donates funds to a number of art and culture groups in Canterbury.

Broadcasters honoured

Geoff Robinson.

Geoff Robinson. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Three well-known broadcasters have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Geoff Robinson, who recently retired after presenting Radio New Zealand's Morning Report since 1976, becomes an Officer of the Order of Merit.

He said he does miss public radio. "I miss the people I work with. I think everything that I have achieved in radio was with the help of other people. But the rest of it, very happily retired."

Veteran Radio New Zealand broadcaster Jim Sullivan, a historian and presenter of Sounds Historical, has been recognised with a Queen's Service Medal.

Jim Sullivan.

Jim Sullivan. Photo: RNZ

"The fact that we do a history programme which is pretty well received - I think an award like this is more recognition of the importance of doing our history as much as anything," he said.

In Whakatane, Glenn Smith, long-time owner and manager of one of the country's last independently run radio stations, 1XX, has been made a Member of the Order of Merit.

All Blacks manager Darren Shand has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Mr Shand has been the team manager since 2004 and before that he was manager of the Crusaders rugby side. Softball world champion, player and coach Eddie Kohlhase is Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) include Far North iwi leader Haami Piripi, former head of the Maori Language Commission; the former Chief of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell; leading academic Viviane Robinson of Auckland University.

Also recognised with the same honour are two people who made a significant contribution in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes: Professor Nigel Priestley, one of the key witnesses at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch earthquakes, for his contribution to structural engineering and CERA general manager of design and planning, Donald Miskell, for services to landscape architecture.

Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) include three women who have worked to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Amanda Baragwanath has played a leading role in helping disabled people, Rachel Noble has been recognised for services to the deaf and Robyn Scott-Vincent was honoured for services to television and people with disabilities.