Queen’s Birthday Honours for staff, stakeholders and alumni

7 June 2019

Professor Devon Polaschek

Psychology Professor Devon Polaschek, former University of Waikato Council member Paul Adams, and former University Associate Professor of Law Ruth Busch are among members of the University community recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Congratulations to all our successful staff, stakeholders and alumni on their outstanding achievement.

Professor Devon Polaschek

University of Waikato Psychology Professor Devon Polaschek has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to criminal psychology.

Professor Polaschek is a forensic clinical psychologist who has studied the psychology of violent offenders for more than 25 years, specifically targeting the high-risk category comprising 5% of offenders but who account for up to 50% of all crime in New Zealand. She’s also the director of the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science at the University of Waikato.

Professor Polaschek was surprised and humbled by her nomination. “It seems to me it is often hard for academics in New Zealand to be seen as making a contribution to our own community, while also meeting the demands of developing an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. I’ve been very lucky to be able to work all these years on something that really matters to me, and I’d like to thank all the people serving correctional sentences, Correctional staff, graduate students and colleagues who have supported me in this work.”

Paul Adams

Former University of Waikato Council member Paul Adams CNZM was made a Knights Companion, for services to philanthropy and the community.  Mr Adams has played a key role in the Bay of Plenty business community for many years, and was directly involved in realising the University’s new Tauranga CBD campus.

Ruth Busch

Former University Associate Professor of Law Ruth Busch was also recognised in this year’s honours, becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to domestic violence prevention and the State. Since her retirement, she has continued to advocate for changes to legal treatment of domestic violence by the justice system and runs two free family law clinics that assist families experiencing domestic violence. Ms Busch was involved in the founding of the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project, a domestic violence NGO that was the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Other University of Waikato Alumni recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours include:

Knights Companion KNZM:

Cletus Maanu Paul for Services to Māori (BSocSc, 1977)


Anjum Rahman for services to ethnic communities and women (MMS, 1993)

Celia Stewart for services to music education (MEd, 2013)


Sagaa Malua for services to the Tuvaluan community (GradDipSocSc, 1999)

Susan Winters for services to education (MEd, 1997)

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