Yes, there are agscience people on the Honours List – and a knight whose work helped establish A2 Milk

We struck just one reference to “science”, when we trawled through the names and awards on the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.

The recipient was a forensic scientist.

“Research” threw up a few more names for work – for example – in historical research.

It also threw up the name of Professor Robert Bartlett Elliott, who has been knighted for services to medical research.

His work has extended to the primary sector.  In the early 1990s Professor Elliott began researching A2 beta-casein in milk and its implications for Type 1 diabetes and heart disease, which informed the establishment of the A2 Milk Corporation.

We may have missed names we should be including in this post.  Please let us know of any oversights.

But we did note these names of interest to the agscience, breeding, farming  and horticulture sectors –

  • James Bruce McKenzie – Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the cattle industry. 

Mr McKenzie is a cattle farmer who runs the 113-year old Maungahina Hereford Stud in Masterton with his son.

He has been at the forefront of genetic development in the primary sector in New Zealand over the last 50 years, embracing technological advancements in the industry. He pioneered the importation of different livestock breeds, as well as material such as frozen embryos and semen, with the aim of improving herd quality in New Zealand.

He refined the Charolais breed, creating the Red Charolais. In the last decade he has been responsible for introducing a new cattle breed, Speckle Park, into New Zealand, which has proved valuable in terms of quality and yield increase.

The effects of the Maungahina Stud genetics over New Zealand meat production continues to contribute to millions of dollars of value both in meat production and the value of female genetics. He was also involved in importing fallow deer genetics from Europe in the early 1980s.

Internationally he has been a leading cattle judge at most major events in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He was recently the first non-Angus breeder to be asked to judge at Australia’s National Angus Sale. Mr McKenzie has been involved in many coaching schools organised by the Royal Agriculture Society of New Zealand.

  • Dr Jeremy Pau Hill – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the dairy industry and scientific research.

Dr Hill has been the only New Zealander to hold the position of President and Chairman of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) in its 117-year history.

In this role, he brokered the FAO/Global Dairy Industry Declaration of Rotterdam in 2016, a commitment and blueprint for sustainable environmentally aware future dairy production and nutrition.

He was a founding governor for the Global Dairy Agenda for Action (GDAA) on sustainability from 2014 and chaired the GDAA Advisory Board from 2015 to 2017.

He has been Fonterra Chief Science and Technology Officer since 2007 and throughout his career worked with New Zealand universities and the science and government sectors.

He was a member of the Board responsible for overseeing the New Zealand Dairy Industry Postgraduate Training Programme and member of the advisory Boards for the University of Auckland Postgraduate Dairy School and Massey University School of Engineering and Advanced Technology.

His studies into nutrition and the proteins in milk contributed to the formation of the currently successful A2 Milk Corporation.

His research output includes more than 100 published works and he has made numerous presentations at international science conferences.

Dr Hill was appointed Adjunct Professor, Sustainable Nutrition, Riddet Institute, Massey University in 2018.

  • Mr Murray Ian Dawson – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit  for services to horticulture.

Mr Dawson joined the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (RNZIH) in 1996 and led the redevelopment of their website, which launched in 2000 and saw him join the National Executive on which he still serves.

He became principal editor of the New Zealand Garden Journal in 2005 and is webmaster for the Friends of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the New Zealand Botanical Society

He has led several successful funding applications for RNZIH projects, including creating the Plant Collections Register in 2011 and digitising the Duncan and Davies Nursery Catalogue collection.

He continues to produce the RNZIH newsletters and journals and has held voluntary administration roles since 2011.

He is a botanist with Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and has developed interactive identification applications, including one to identify weeds, which he has used since 2016 as a teaching tool in schools participating in The Great Weeds Hunt Aotearoa. He took a lead role in organising the 2003 ‘Greening the City: Bringing Biodiversity Back into the Urban Environment’ conference for Canterbury.

He helped establish the New Zealand Gardens Trust in 2003.

He joined iNaturalist NZ in 2012 and actively contributes to their help desk. Mr Dawson was appointed Registrar of New Zealand native genera for the International Cultivar Registration Authority in 2013.

  • Dr Vincent James (Vince) Peterson – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the veterinary profession.

Dr Peterson has contributed to the veterinary profession for more than 50 years.

He worked as a veterinarian for almost 40 years, in both Hokitika and Geraldine, and at times was the only veterinarian on the West Coast. In 1994 he became a Board Member for the Veterinary Professional Insurance Society (VPIS) and served as Chairman from 1998 to 2016.

VPIS is a not-for-profit incorporated society functioning as an indemnity insurer run by veterinarians for veterinarians. Around 80 percent of veterinarians in New Zealand are insured with VPIS.

As Chairman Dr Peterson oversaw VPIS’s transition to meet the regulatory obligations of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, helping VPIS move from a novice insurance position to offering one of the leading indemnity policies for the veterinary profession. He was also a Board Member for the New Zealand Veterinary Association for four years. He has assisted other veterinarians over the years, including educating and advocating for them in times of need. Dr Peterson has directly contributed to positive changes to the Veterinary Council’s complaints system.

  • Mr Murray PowellOfficer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wildlife conservation and the deer industry.

Mr Powell established the Hilldale Zoo and Wildlife Park in 1969, now the Hamilton Zoo, and together with his late wife put significant investment towards the Zoo’s development over the years.

He has been a driving force behind deer farming in the Waikato region. He established the Waikato Deer Farmers’ Association and made major contributions toward the national association. Today, the deer industry contributes more than $300 million per year to the country’s export earnings, a third of which stemming from the mid-North Island region that can be partially attributed Mr Powell’s efforts.

He was a committee member of the Auckland Acclimatisation Society for 28 years, including serving one term as President.

Mr Powell’s knowledge of avian husbandry was utilised by the New Zealand Wildlife Service for projects such as rearing Brown Teal, capturing Kokako for breeding at Mount Bruce, and kiwi rescue in Northland.

  • Mr Peter Edward SmaleMember of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to seniors, the community and horticulture.

Mr Smale has worked in the horticultural research sector and contributed to the Motueka community for more than 40 years.

During his career he made significant developments to new crop introductions as a horticultural researcher and advisor for several Government organisations and State Owned Enterprises.

Mr Smale is a past member of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture.

  • Ms Marie Jane Taylor – Queen’s Service Medal for services to horticulture and native revegetation.

Ms Taylor is credited with single-handedly developed a thriving native plant nursery that grows more than 150,000 native plants annually.

She owns and manages Plant Hawke’s Bay Ltd, a native plant nursery supplying the Hawke’s Bay revegetation market with eco-sourced, wholesale native plants. She was a regional representative on the QEII National Trust from 1990 to 2005 and is a Board member of New Zealand Plant Producers Inc., the nursery industry body. Ms Taylor was named the Supreme Winner of the NZI Rural Women Business Awards in 2018.

  • Mrs Pamela Josephine Nicol (Jo) HawkinsMember of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to horticulture.

Mrs Hawkins joined the New Zealand branch of the International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS) in 1980, working in a variety of administrative and governance roles before becoming the New Zealand IPPS President in 1992.

  • Mr Noel John Henry Sheat – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to ploughing and the community. 

Mr  Sheat has been involved with the New Zealand Ploughing Association for more than 50 years.

  • Mr David Charles Ellis Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the thoroughbred industry.

Mr Ellis is Principal of Te Akau Stud and Racing Stables in New Zealand and Singapore and has been a significant leader in the New Zealand horse racing industry.

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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