31 Dec 2010

Veteran RNZ reporter honoured

12:13 pm on 31 December 2010

One of Radio New Zealand's longest-serving reporters has been recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Heugh Chappell has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to broadcasting and the community.


Mr Chappell joined the then NZBC in 1971 in Hamilton as an assistant rural broadcaster, covering rural news from the 90 Mile Beach to Te Kuiti.

From 1973 to 1997, he was the senior rural broadcaster for Hawke's Bay and Gisborne districts.

Since 1997, he has been a senior regional journalist for Radio New Zealand National and also has deep knowledge of the rural and business sectors.

Mr Chappell says he doesn't judge people by their position, but by their achievements, and often the most humble subjects make the most impression on him.

During his career he has also reported on many high-profile incidents, including the 2000 ministerial inquiry in Gisborne into the under reporting of incidents of cervical cancer; the Teresa Cormack murder inquiry; the case of convicted double murderer Mark Lundy; and the death of beaten Hawke's Bay four-year-old James Whakaruru in 1999.

Mr Chappell has a high standing in the Hawke's Bay community due to his voluntary involvement in various charities and welfare groups, including work at the regional prison.

He is an active member of St Luke's Anglican Church in Havelock North.