Radio knight arises: Sir Paul Holmes heads New Year honours

Sir Paul

Broadcaster Paul Holmes, who has retired from a 35-year career on radio and TV because of ill health, tops the New Year Honours.

Sir Paul has been named a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM). He is already a Companion of the Order, CNZM.

Sir Paul announced his retirement from his weekly radio and TV shows a few weeks ago because of setbacks in his recovery from a heart operation and cancer treatment. 

Others to the receive the highest honours are:

• Justice Judith Potter, Dame Companion (DNZM). Dame Judith has retired after being a High Court judge since 1997 but has since taken up judicial roles in the Cooks Islands and Pitcairn Island

• Businesswoman and publisher Wendy Pye MBE, Dame Companion (DNZM). Dame Wendy, now 70, still runs her global publishing empire, which specialises in literacy books

• Businessman and philanthropist Owen Glenn, Knight Companion (KNZM). Sir Owen, 72, raised his profile this year after selling his logistics business and revealing plans for an inquiry into the causes and cures for child abuse

• Former Waitakere mayor and advertising man Robert (Bob) Harvey, Knight Companion (KNZM). Sir Robert is chairman of Waterfront Auckland and has written several books about life in Auckland's west

• Justice Mark O'Regan, 59, Knight Companion (KNZM). Sir Mark is president of the Court of Appeal

Otago Daily Times publisher Julian Smith OBE, Knight Companion (KNZM). Sir Julian, 69, is a descendant of the founder of New Zealand's oldest daily newspaper and chairman of Allied Press, which owns a strong of community newspapers and two regional TV channels

• Ngai Tahu leader and Christchurch businessman Mark Solomon (KNZM). Under Sir Mark's leadership, Ngai Tahu Holdings has become a $800 million company

• Equestrian and Olympic gold medallist Mark Todd CBE, Knight Companion (KNZM). Sir Mark, 56, sealed his honour with a return to Olympic success this year and eqalling the world record for the longest period beween receiving medals - 28 years

Business people also feature in the new Companions of the NZOM:

• Former Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard

• Hawke's Bay wine industry leader John Buck

• Auckland businessman and motorsport leader Ian Buckley

• Wellington businessman and arts patron Barry Dineen

• Wellington accountant and cricket official Alan Isaac

• Dr Lester Levy, Auckland health executive and business mentor

• Auckland company director and arts patron Geoffrey Ricketts

• US-based businessman Dr David Teece

Others prominent in business and public life to be honoured include:

Auckland chef and restaurant owner Tony Astle - Officer, NZOM

Ballantynes managing director Mary Devine - Officer, NZOM

John Slater, former National Party president - Officer, NZOM

Vicki Hyde, science blogger - Member, NZOM

Former MPs George Hawkins, Rodney Hide and Wayne Mapp - Companions, Queen's Service order

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12 Comments & Questions

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Surely, it could only be for his eponymous extra virgin olive oil. Right?


Nah, it wasn't for the extra virgin olive oil; it was for his book, Daughters of Erebus being nominated for the Roswell Prize -- for Fiction Masquerading as Truth.


Isn't there a limit on number of knights. If I am right the number is 25. How many do we have now with the current Knights.


You are thinking of the Order of New Zealand, which is limited to 20 living persons. There is no limit on other honours. See


Rodney Hide honoured for being a National Party stooge. HaHa. Honoured for tax-payer funded romantic holidays!! What a joke!


Really? 4.4 million people and our highest honour goes to Paul Holmes.


It was a backwards step by Key to re-introduce these silly titles. The honours system established by Clark should have been allowed to continue.


Key had himself in mind when he resurrected the knighthoods.



I stick a fork into my arm and I am not dreaming!

I would first award the knighthood to Paul Henry before Paul Holmes.


When I consider a number of the recipients, I cannot see how they over looked me!


I wouldn't moan, these honours have as much real value as the sundry junk that can be found in any $2 shop.


Thank you Sir Paul Holmes for years of service


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