University alumni and honorary staff recognised in New Year's Honours

13 January 2022

A total of seven University of Waikato alumni, plus an adjunct professor, have been named in this year’s New Year’s honours.

Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Several alumni were recognised for their services to education, including Whangarei’s Hora Hora School principal, Pat Newman for his positive impact on children with high needs, curriculum, and practices for tamariki Māori through kaupapa Māori. Mr Newman completed a Diploma of Education in 1976 at the University.

Dr Angela Sharples was recognised for her work in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region to increase students’ access to equitable education. Dr Sharples graduated in 2005 with a Graduate Diploma of Teaching.

Helen Tuhoro was acknowledged for more than 30 years’ of contribution in the Eastern Bay of Plenty for her work as the founding Principal of Tarawera High School and in establishing a high focus on student achievement. Mrs Tuhoro has a Bachelor of Teaching from the University, graduating in 2004.

Rukumoana Schaafhausen was acknowledged for her services to Māori and the community, particularly her contributions in water provision and leadership to iwi and Māori health providers. Mrs Schaafhausen graduated from the University of Waikato in 1996 with a Bachelor of Laws.

Mel Hewitson, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, was recognised for her services to governance. She has more than 30 years of senior management experience in financial services, investments, risk and regulation. Ms Hewitson graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics.

Clinical psychologist and consultant Gwendoline Smith was recognised for her services to mental health. She has authored several books on mental health, including establishing an advice blog to help young people. Ms Smith has a Bachelor of Social Science, Master of Social Science and a Diploma in Psychology.

Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)

Alumnus Stuart Middleton and Adjunct Professor Neil Richardson have been named Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Professor Emeritus Stuart Middleton received his award for service to education; he has contributed to secondary and tertiary education for more than 45 years. His work to lift barriers to higher education has helped thousands of students. His has had significant involvement with the Pasifika community and in development programmes through Manukau Institute of Technology. Professor Emeritus Middleton graduated from the University of Waikato with a Master of Arts in 1969.

Mr Richardson’s award was for services to business and philanthropy. He has played a key part in business leadership and enterprise governance, particularly in Waikato, for more than 30 years. He held directorship and chair roles in key organisations including, New Zealand Home Loans, Kiwibank, WEL Energy and Gallagher Group. Mr Richardson is currently an Adjunct Professor at Waikato Management School.

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