New Year Honours 2016: Rich Lister, entrepreneurs, philanthropists feature as Companions

NBR Rich Lister Peter Mafsen, Chris Liddell, Corinne Hayes, John Lee and John Matthews among those honoured.
Chris Liddell

The 14 new Companions of the Order of NZ (CNZM) – one rank below dames and knights – include six businessmen and women, two retired judges, a philanthropist and an academic.

Professor MAX ABBOTT, a Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT, credited with a leading role in reforming mental health policies, law and services. He was first national director of the Mental Health Foundation in 1981 was appointed president of the World Federation for Mental Health in 1991, going on to establish and co-chair World Mental Health Day in 1992.

Justice PAMELA ANDREWS was a writer (contributing to Crime in New Zealand) and journalist (at Consumers Institute), as well working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1968-73) before moving into a legal career. She rose to be a High Court judge in 2006 before retiring this year. She was a solicitor and partner at Kensington Swan until 2002 and then a consultant from 2002 until her appointment to the High Court. She has been a part-time member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority and has undertaken work as a member of a division of the Court of Appeal.

Christchurch businesswoman CORINNE HAINES has been managing director of Trimble Navigation New Zealand since 2003 and has worked there for 36 years. During that time. The company has expanded from 42 staff to more than 280. It has a reputation as a hot bed of talent for high-tech research and development. Last year, the company moved into a new $23 million headquarters. Mrs Haines is a member of the 2015 Defence White Paper Advisory Panel, helping to provide independent advice on policy guidance, capability development and organisational direction. In 2014, she received a Champion Canterbury Business Awards Special Commendation.

Former Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission chief executive ROBIN HAPI remains active in business affairs as a board member of Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. He is chairmaon of the Council of Te Wananga-o-Raukawa and former chairman of Berl (Business and Economic Research). He has been an Adjunct Professor at Massey University, is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and a judge at the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards. 

Central Otago tourism entrepreneur JOHN LEE turned his merino sheep station at Mt Cardrona into a series of successful business, from an alpine resort and skifield to a snow farm and high-altitude testing ground for motor vehicles. The Cardrona Ski Field opened in 1980 and he was managing director until 1988. The cold product proving ground was established in 1984 and he was managing director until 2004. Snow Farm, the country’s only dedicated cross-country skifield, was developed simultaneously. In 2014, the Merino Muster was included in the World Loppet series of international ski races. Mr Lee was managing director of Waiorau Snow Farm from 1984-2010 and a director of Snow Park, a dedicated terrain park, from 2000-13.

New York-based CHRIS LIDDELL has reached the top echelons of global business as chief financial officer at both Microsoft and General Motors. But he retains strong connections New Zealand business, including chairmanship of Xero. Until he left for the US, he was chief executive of Carter Holt Harvey. His involvement in many not-for-profit enterprises include the NEXT Foundation (chairman), Rotorua Island Trust (director), Project Janszoon (director) – the restoration of Abel Tasman Park’s ecology – and Pure Advantage (trustee), which promotes green growth. He has been patron of the University of Auckland’s fundraising campaign and launched the Mount Albert Grammar School Foundation with a $1 million donation. He has been a director of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Sports Foundation.

Justice ALAN McKENZIE had a long career acting as a legal adviser to many governmental organisations before being appointed to the High Court in 2004. These included the Milk Board, responsible for regulation of the town milk industry, the Meat Producers Board and the Dairy Board. He advised the Reserve Bank and the Overseas Investment Commission on matters including the statutory management of DFC, the implementation of the Trustee Banks Restructuring Act 1988 and the amendment of the Reserve Bank’s legislation in 1986 and 1989. He was chairman and vice president of the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand from 1984-88. Justice MacKenzie, who retired this year, has also undertaken work as a member of a division of the Court of Appeal.

Auckland businessman and long-standing NBR Rich Lister PETER MASFEN has been a major investor in the viticulture, agriculture and many other industries for the past three decades. His company, Corporate Investments (CIL), came to prominence in the 1980s when he was a partner in accounting firm Porter Wigglesworth and Grayburn. CIL’s biggest asset was Montana Wines, which Mr Masfen chaired for 30 years and became the country’s biggest producer. In 2001, it was sold to Allied Domecq and later became Pernod Ricard Winemakers NZ, still the largest in the business. Mr Masfen has held numerous other company directorships as well as being involved in a number of philanthropic and charitable trusts such as the P H Masfen Charitable Trust, Woolf Fisher Trust and JAB Hellaby Endowment Trust. He was a board member and trustee of King’s College and King’s School, the latter for 38 years. He has represented New Zealand at rowing and recently worked with New Zealand Rowing to fund a men’s and women’s eight for the 2015 World Rowing Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Taranaki businessman JOHN MATTHEWS is governing director of the Technix Group of bitumen, road construction and maintenance companies. He was manager until 1999, during which time it commissioned the country’s largest bulk bitumen terminal and integrated bituminous products manufacturing facility. He managed the development of Fitzroy Engineering, which before he sold it in 1992 was one of the largest heavy engineering companies in the country. Mr Matthews’ Waireka Property is being developed as the country’s first indigenous tree park and is reconstructing the Omata Stockade as an historically accurate replica of that which existed in 1860 during the New Zealand Land Wars. He is also a donor to the arts, chairing the Save the Taranaki Opera House Committee and the Len Lye Foundation. Mr Matthews donated $250,000 for development of the streetscape framing the Len Lye Centre, which opened this year.

Christchurch philanthropist JOY SIMPSON, wife of software entrepreneur and former NBR Rich Lister Sir Gil Simpson, has been listed as one of the city’s 50 Most Powerful People for her contribution to a wide range of projects. The couple first met when she was fundraising for the Christchurch City Mission in the 1990s and together have generously donated and since raised millions for the mission's capital and operational projects. Lady Simpson is involved in many social and cultural organisations, including chairwoman of the Isaac Theatre Royal Foundation Board, the Garden Events Trust, and the CHDB Arts Trust.

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