Sir Paul Adams receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato

Sir Paul received the University's most prestigious award at a ceremony held on our Tauranga campus yesterday.

24 Apr 2024

Sir Paul Adams KNZM, a distinguished figure in New Zealand’s development landscape, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato at a ceremony held at the Tauranga campus this week

L-R University of Waikato Chancellor Sir Anand Satyanand, Sir Paul Adams and University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alister Jones

With a career spanning 50 years, Sir Paul has been instrumental in shaping the commercial and residential sectors, fostering joint venture partnerships and spearheading numerous building projects that have significantly shaped the region’s infrastructure. 

An Honorary Doctorate is the University’s most prestigious honour and University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says it is in recognition of Sir Paul’s substantial and ongoing contributions to the University, the Bay of Plenty and beyond.  

Sir Paul Adams and the University's Chancellor Sir Anand Satyanand

“Sir Paul’s commitment to the University has been transformative. His leadership has been instrumental in the establishment of the University’s Tauranga campus and the Adams Centre for High Performance in Mount Maunganui,” says Professor Quigley. 

He serves on the University Foundation Board and has served as a University Council member and Chair of the Campus Development Committee.  

Sir Paul is honoured to receive this award and says he is proud to be associated with the University.  

“The Tauranga campus is poised to grow and is an integral part of the future of the CBD of Tauranga City, as city amenities continue to develop and revitalise,” Sir Paul says.  

If the University of Waikato is given the go-ahead for a new regional medical school, it will also provide a real opportunity for undergraduate degrees in Tauranga that will become a pathway to a medical degree.


Born in Wellington, Sir Paul’s illustrious career began as an engineering cadet before venturing into civil construction before establishing his own consultancy practice.

Sir Paul Adams and his wife, Lady Cheryl

His visionary investment in the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry saw him become the leader of the largest kiwifruit operation in New Zealand with nearly 50 orchards across the Western Bay of Plenty, as well as six post-harvest packing and cool store facilities by 1990.   

In 1988, Sir Paul collaborated with the Tauranga District Council to develop and implement a regional growth strategy, helping drive Tauranga's ascent to become New Zealand's fourth-largest city. 

Transitioning to property development, Sir Paul's company, Carrus Corporation, played a pivotal role in creating residential subdivisions across key locations in New Zealand. His philanthropic endeavors have left an indelible impact, supporting vital organisations such as Waipuna Hospice, Women's Refuge, Riding for the Disabled and the University of Waikato. Sir Paul is also a life member of Priority One, an economic development agency in Tauranga. 

Sir Paul was also the founding Chair of Accessible Properties, and IHC Company, the largest non-Government social housing provider in New Zealand. 

Sir Paul was a board member at the Correspondence School Te Kura and a Founding Trustee of Tauranga Boys’ College. The historic Mayfield House was donated by Sir Paul and his wife, Lady Cheryl, to the school in 1995, serving today as a vital educational and social centre in the region. 

Sir Paul was voted the 2013 Westpac Business Leader of the Year in the Bay of Plenty and received the Companion and subsequent elevation to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015 and 2019. In 2023, he was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. 



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