Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honour alumni who have made outstanding contributions to Massey University, to their professions, their communities or the nation.

Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

Ross McEwan

Ross McEwan

Professor Graham Le Gros was appointed research director of Wellington's Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in 1994, following a three-year Fogarty Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, Washington DC, and a five-year scientist position with Ciba-Geigy in Basel, Switzerland.

A Bachelor of Science graduate at Massey in 1978, he has been a recipient of an International Senior Wellcome Trust Fellowship and James Cook Fellowship. In 2005 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in recognition of his research contributions to the fields of immunology and asthma.

In June 2014, Professor Le Gros was made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Distinguished Service Award

Mavis Mullins

Mavis Mullins

Traci Houpapa has firmly cemented herself in New Zealand’s agribusiness industry, and has been instrumental in raising the profile of Māori agribusiness across the primary industry sector. She specialises in strategic and economic development, advising public and private sector clients. She is an experienced company director and holds a number of directorships and ministerial appointments.

Ms Houpapa is well known for her role in promoting the development of women’s leadership and diversity on boards. She has an MBA from Massey University, and is a Member of the Order of New Zealand, a Justice of the Peace and a marriage celebrant.

Named one of the 10 most influential women in New Zealand agribusiness in 2012. The New Zealand Listener named her a top 10 influencer in New Zealand in 2013.

Distinguished Young Alumni


Pengbo Jiang

Master of Management graduate Pengbo Jiang is making a name for himself as an advocate for new migrants.

The 26-year-old, who moved to Wellington with his family from Fuzhou, northern China, as a child, wants to ensure the settling in experience for new migrants is as smooth as possible.

Over the past 13 years he has volunteered thousands of hours to different organisations in Wellington, working to help new migrants integrate into New Zealand society. He helps to promote and fundraise to showcase their cultures in the community and also offers student and business mentorship.

Mr Jiang works as a senior consultant at Ernst and Young, is a board member of Multicultural Learning and Support Services, a committee member of the New Zealand Association of Immigration Professionals and a committee member of the Wellington branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society.

As part of his own integration to his adopted homeland, he is learning to speak Māori.

In recognition of his community services he has been awarded the Pride of Workmanship Award by Rotary International and a Volunteer Connect Award by the Wellington City Council.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Peter Chrisp

Peter Chrisp

Peter Chrisp's work history defies a common misperception - that a degree in the humanities and social sciences is of little relevance in the world of business and enterprise.

He graduated with Bachelor of arts and Master of Arts in social sciences and has been Chief Executive of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise since 2010, leading an organisation charged with lifting New Zealand's economic performance by growing companies internationally.

Over the past 30 years he has had roles in the engineering, manufacturing and the pulp and paper industries. He started his work life with the New Zealand Engineering Union as an educator and negotiator, progressed through the management ranks at Fletcher Challenge before leading Norsek Skog Paper in Kawerau. From there he was promoted to company headquarters in Oslo as Senior Vice President Business Improvement, covering operations throughout the world, before moving to Sydney to run the Australasian businesses.

Born and raised in Gisborne, Mr Chrisp has held several board roles including the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Education Training and Support Agency, the Australia Pulp and Paper Industry Council, the New Zealand China Council and the NZ Story group.

He has been partnered on this journey with his wife Judith, three children, a dog and a blue-tongued lizard.

Previous winners

Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

Recipients of the Sir Geoffrey Peren Award

2015 | Professor Graham Le Gros

2014 | Graeme Milne ONZM

2013 | Linda Jenkinson

2012 | Hon John Luxton QSO

2011 | Sir Graham Henry

2010 | Sir Neil Waters

2009 | Alan Frampton

Distinguished Service Award

Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award

2015 | Traci Houpapa

2014 | Andrew Cameron

2013 | Don McKenzie

2012 | Dr Frances Hughes ONZM

2011 | Dennis Oliver

2010 | Sharron Cole and Peter MacGillivray

2009 | HE Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith and Dr Judy McGregor

Distinguished Young Alumni

Distinguished Young Alumni

2015 | John-Daniel Trask

2014 | Jane Haste (nee Parsons)

2013 | Kathryn Wilson

2012 | David Kelly

2011 | Luke Di Somma

2010 | Carl Sanders-Edwards

2009 | Dr Shaun Hendy and Yvette McCausland-Durie

Distinguished Achievement Award

Recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award

2015 | Professor Iain Hay

2014 | Dr Alex Buchanan AM

2013 | Peter Hughes

2012 | Dr Barry O'Neil

2011 | Stephen Jennings and Sue Suckling

2010 | Professor Gregor Reid

2009 | Sir Richard Taylor

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