New Year Honours 2016: Two new dames, knights join McCaw at top of the list

A world champion shearer, a leading film-maker, top public servant and a Supreme Court judge are honoured — but there is no "Sir Richie".

Richie McCaw may have the highest New Year 2016 honour but the list adds titles to two women and two men, the lowest number since these categories were restored in 2009.

The former All Black captain has been named to the Order of New Zealand, limited to a maximum of 20 people at any one time. Membership of the ONZ (the home-grown honour introduced in 1987)  does not carry a title so there will be no "Sir Richie" as some had hoped. 

Mr McCaw, who turns 35 on the last day of 2015, is the youngest person to be appointed a member of the order (for more on his honour, read Richie McCaw joins elite order, misses knighthood).

Long-standing public servant and ACC chairwoman Paula Rebstock has been upgraded from Companion to Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM) for services to the state.

Film-maker Jane Campion is the other new Dame Companion of the NZOM.

World champion shearer David Fagan and Supreme Court Judge Terence Arnold are new Knight Companions of the NZOM.

Dame Paul Rebstock
US-born Dame Paula, 58, has lived in New Zealand since 1987. In 1998 she joined the Commerce Commission, becoming chairwoman from 2003-09, when she was made a Companion of the ONZM for her public service.

Since then she has held positions on a dozen or more boards, commissions and inquiries.

As ACC chairwoman, she has led the decline in levies to their lowest ever level.

Another tough assignment is deputy chairwoman of the unprofitable KiwiRail Holdings.

This year, she has led an investigation into the modernisation of the Child, Youth and Family service and chaired the Work and Income Board.

Dame Paula is also a director of Auckland Transport, chairwoman of the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Commission and a member of the advisory boards of the Auckland University Business School and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Dame Jane Campion
Dame Jane’s career in film hit its first peak in 1994 when The Piano (1993) earned her an Oscar for her screenplay as well as best supporting actress for its 11-year-old star, Anna Paquin.

Earlier, The Piano had received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Dame Jane was nominated as best director at the Hollywood Academy Awards, only the second woman to achieve this accolade.

This followed her acclaimed Australian feature debut, Sweetie (1989) and her biographical portrayal of writer Janet Frame in An Angel at My Table (1990), which was made as a TV mini-series and also released in feature-length version.

Her most recent major award was a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for the 2013 mini-series Top of the Lake. A second season is in production with Nicole Kidman joining the cast.

Dame Jane’s other feature films as director include The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Holy Smoke! (1999), In the Cut’ (2003) and Bright Star (2009).

The New Year Honours citation says her work “has been defined by compelling depictions of the lives of women outside of society’s mainstream.”

Sir David Fagan
Sir David, 54, has been at the forefront of competitive shearing for 37 years until his retirement earlier this year.

His career statistics are impressive:
• He has shorn 26,000 sheep and won 640 open championships throughout the world, including five times as world champion;
• He has been the national champion 16 times and was the country’s number one ranked open shearer in the 2014/2015 season;
• He was the first shearer to shear more than 800 lambs and more than 700 ewes in a nine-hour working day under world record rules; and
• He has represented New Zealand more than 120 times in various teams, including seven world team champions.

Sir David finally put down his shears in April after contesting the Running of the Sheep in his home town of Te Kuiti.

He was recently appointed chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand and is an ambassador for Lister Shearing Equipment in the UK.

Previous honours include Officer of the NZOM (2007) and Member of the NZOM (1999).

Sir Terence Arnold
Sir Terence’s legal career began in academia, after graduating from Victoria University of Wellington, and moved through a law firm, sole practice and public service to the highest levels of the judiciary.

He was appointed a Supreme Court Judge in June 2013, having previously been a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal since 2006.

After a partnership at Chapman Tripp from 1985-94, he took silk as a Queen’s Counsel in 1997,

Before joining the bench, he was Solicitor-General and chief executive of the Crown Law Office from 2000-06.

Sir Terence, 69, taught at law schools in New Zealand and Canada from 1970-82, developing a particular interest in clinical legal education.

From 1986-88 he was member of the Bill of Rights Monitoring Group advising the Minister of Justice on the establishment of the Bill of Rights.

He was a founding member of the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand, was its president from 1996-97 and is now its patron.

He was closely involved in the establishment of the New Zealand Law Society's litigation skills programme and the civil litigation skills programme.

In the business arena, he was a member of the market surveillance committee of the New Zealand electricity market from 1996-2000 and was appointed to two standing committees of the market surveillance panel of the NZX.

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