New Year’s Honours for Massey staff and alumni


The Hon Fran Wilde CNZM, QSO


Two Massey staff members and 12 Massey alumni have been named in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

Former Labour Cabinet Minister and alumni of Massey University’s inaugural 1966 journalism course, the Hon Fran Wilde CNZM, QSO, was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State and the community.

During her time in parliament, Ms Wilde successfully sponsored the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in 1986, which decriminalised sexual activity between consenting adult males.

She won the Wellington mayoralty in 1992 and served for three years, during which time she met her husband, former Massey University Chancellor Chris Kelly.

Bachelor of Agricultural Science (1976) graduate, the Hon Toke Talagi, was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Niue. He has served as Premier of Niue since 2008 and a Common Roll member of the Niue Assembly since 1999.

Massey University Distinguished Alumni award recipient and former DairyNZ chair, the Hon Dr John Luxton QSO, was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the dairy industry.

The former MP and cabinet minister, who holds a Bachelor of Agriculture (1970) and Master of Management (2003) from Massey, received the Sir Geoffrey Peren Medal in 2013. Named after the University’s founding principal, the award recognises a graduate who has reached the highest level of achievement in business or professional life, or who has been of significant service to the University, community or nation.

Professor of Māori Visual Arts Bob Jahnke


Renowned Māori artist and Professor of Māori Visual Arts at Massey University, Bob Jahnke (Ngai Taharora, Te Whanau a Iritekura, Te Whanau a Rakairo o Ngati Porou), was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori art and education.

Professor Jahnke leads the College of Creative Art’s Toioho ki Apiti programme, which he introduced at a time when no other Māori arts course existed within the university system. The Bachelor and subsequent Masters of Māori Visual Arts has nurtured some of the country’s finest modern artists working at the forefront of contemporary Māori art.

Internationally renowned expert of diseases of the skeletal system of animals, Professor Keith Thompson, formerly of Massey’s Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to veterinary pathology. He served on the Executive Board of the Institute and was also head of Veterinary Pathology at Massey for 10 years.

Other Massey recipients of Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit are Justine Kidd, of Takapu, (Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) 1993) for services to the dairy industry and equestrian sport; Vanessa van Uden, of Queenstown, (Executive Master of Business Administration 1999) for services to local government; Simon Perry, of Hamilton, (Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) 2003) for services to sport and philanthropy; and Rae Duff, of Wellington, (Diploma in Education 1986) for services to women and education.

Alison Ballance, of Wellington, (Master of Science 1986) was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to natural history, filmmaking and broadcasting.

Three alumni were awarded Queen's Service Medals: Kevin Geddes, of Ashburton, (Graduate Diploma Business Studies 2005) for services to agriculture and the community; The Reverend Peter Sykes, of Auckland, (Diploma in Education 1985) for services to the community; and Barbara Stewart, of Rotorua, (Certificate in Teaching English Additional Language 2003) for services to youth and education.

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