Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016: Sir Christopher Mace (Knight)
A knighthood for services to science and education adds to an already impressive CV for Auckland businessman and NBR Rich Lister Sir Christopher Mace who was inducted into the Business Hall of fame in 2015.
"Speechless and very humbled" is Sir Christopher's first reaction to an award that he says also recognises the amazing people he has had the privilege of working with in science and education, "and I think if it helps to draw attention to those sectors then that would be a very positive outcome."
As chairman of NIWA since 2009, Sir Christopher is credited with forging relationships with other scientific entities and improving the financial performance of the Crown Research Institute which functions as a stand-alone company and employs 590 staff. He is also a commissioner of the Tertiary Education Committee
The official citation also notes his role in establishing a national platform for advanced teaching and postgraduate research in marine sciences.
Asked how his passion for science and education developed, he says it's about having an inquisitive mind "and being prepared to take on new challenges along the way, and really not turning too much down."
A founding member of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, the 72-year-old is also a trustee of the Antarctic Heritage Trust and even has a mountain named after him, Mount Mace, in recognition of his services to Antarctica.
Along with his wife Lady Dayle, he is a keen supporter of the arts.
Sir Christopher left Auckland Grammar at the age of 15 to become an apprentice in the family construction business and made his initial fortune when he sold 16 million Lion Nathan shares worth $90 million toJapan's Kirin Brewery in 1998. He is on the board of Heartland Bank and has a beneficial and non-beneficial interest in shares worth around $22 million.
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