Yes, there are some scientists on the New Year Honours List – but they are outnumbered by sports people

Several Ministers have posted press statements today to congratulate the recipients of New Year 2020 honours.  Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, was not among them.  Nor was Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

This does not mean there were no scientists or agriculturalists on the honours list.

But Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson could delight in announcing that 21 of the country’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community had been recognised, including the Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua, who has been made a Dame Companion, and the former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Justice Minister Andrew Little congratulated the first Māori Supreme Court judge, the Honourable Justice Joe Williams, for receiving a knighthood for services to the state.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw noted that Lisa McLaren had been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in recognition of her work as the National Convenor of the youth-led Generation Zero campaign for the Zero Carbon Act; the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, said the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world;  Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage was delighted that “the decades of dedication to conservation, and fantastic leadership in giving nature a helping hand is being acknowledged…”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern congratulated everybody among the diverse group of New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the New Year 2020 Honours List.

These included –

Dr Michael Edward Matthews – of Hamilton.

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to food technology and the food industry.

Dr Matthews is a professional food technologist who has worked for the New Zealand food industry for more than 40 years.

Dr Matthews graduated from Massey University, then earned his PhD degree in the United States, conducting research in the use of membrane filtration to extract protein. This technology contributes $1 billion per year to the New Zealand dairy industry. At the Dairy Research Institute, he contributed to the development of protein-enriched whey products that are now in strong demand in markets such as Japan.

His career has included management roles in product development, engineering and marketing, culminating as Chief Executive Officer of The Tatua Cooperative Dairy Company from 1995 to 2008, a period of great change for the company. He helped steer Tatua on its course of independence, through determined pursuit of value-added opportunities. He served on the Prime Minister’s Science and Innovation Advisory Council, the Fast Forward Board, and the Board of Food Industry Enabling Technologies.

As a consultant, he assisted the formation of the Food Innovation Network and advised several projects funded by the Primary Growth Partnership.

He has published 25 peer-reviewed technical papers and made numerous presentations at international conferences. Dr Matthews continues to provide mentoring assistance to young food technologists.

Emeritus Professor Warwick Bruce Silvester – of Chartwell.

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for  services to science and conservation.

 Dr Silvester has provided leadership and advice to a large number of professional and community organisations with a conservation focus.

Dr Silvester taught as Professor of Biological Science at the University of Waikato for 32 years and is internationally recognised for his research into understanding nitrogen leaching, a key environmental issue in New Zealand. On his retirement he was appointed Emeritus Professor.

He has been an expert witness, consultant and adviser to various local bodies, organisations, review panels and scientific and conservation panels.

As a member of the Tongariro/Taupo Conservation Board from 2000 to 2009, he chaired the group responsible for producing the Tongariro National Park Management Plan.

He was a key member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Rotorua Lakes and was active in fostering collaboration between scientists to guide the management of the lakes to achieve improved water quality.

He co-founded the national Tane’s Trees Trust to promote the planting of native trees and he has led the development and renewal of Pukemokemoke Reserve to expand public access to the lowland forests near Hamilton.

Dr Silvester frequently shares his expertise with lectures to local authorities on topics ranging from waste management to the declining water quality in lakes and waterways.

Dr Harvey Eshkol Indyk – of Hamilton East.

ONZM for services to analytical chemistry and the dairy industry.

Dr lndyk is a world-leading chemist in the development of modern methods for the analysis of vitamin micronutrients and proteins in dairy products.

During his career with the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Co. Ltd, NZMP, and the Fonterra Cooperative Group, Dr lndyk has developed, applied and validated a wide range of analytical tools that have supported the growth of infant formula manufacturing and vitamin supplemented milk products within the New Zealand dairy industry.

He has created a number of international standard methods that are widely used to assess the safety and nutritional quality of dairy products, such as the application of flow injection analysis of nitrate and nitrite, the application of various high-performance liquid chromatography platforms to micronutrient analysis, the adoption of inductively coupled plasma for multi-element analysis, and the adoption and application of optical biosensor technology for the analysis of vitamins and milk proteins.

His chemistry achievements are notable because they have been undertaken in a commercial laboratory, which under his leadership has been expanded to become a world-class facility.

He has been an active member of the US-based analytical Food Standards organisation AOAC International since 1992, and has served on a number of the association’s committees and review panels.

Dr lndyk has also contributed to a number of European Standards organisations.

Anthony Gordon Wilding – of Tirau.

ONZM for services to the dairy industry and the community.

Tony Wilding is an experienced director who has had a wide range of leadership roles in the New Zealand Dairy Industry, and has made significant contributions to conservation and local community organisations.

Mr Wilding is a dairy farmer in Okoroire, and was a Director of New Zealand Dairy Group for 14 years and of the New Zealand Dairy Board for six years. He played a key role in the establishment of Fonterra, and was a Director of the Dairy Research Institute.

He is Chair of the Federated Farmers Sharemilker Farm Owners Group, actively encouraging farmers to support their sharemilkers through difficult times, and providing mediation in sharemilking disputes.

He chaired the Agricultural Industry Training Organisation for nine years, and has mentored young people in the dairy sector and promoted agricultural education.

He was the first community/landowner co-chair of the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust at the time when the Trust’s governance model changed to a co-governance structure with mana whenua, and he has built strong relationships between landowners and mana whenua. Mr Wilding is currently a Trustee and was Chair of Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand until August 2019, and has also been actively involved with the Pohlen Community Trust Hospital, the Okoroire School, and the Tirau Golf Club.

Dr Anne Bardsley – of Castor Bay.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to science and the state.

Dr Bardsley worked as a senior analyst for the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor from 2012 to 2018.

Dr Bardsley undertook the research that led to the Chief Science Advisor’s methamphetamine report, uncovering the social harm that had been caused as a result of overzealous testing. In completing this research she faced intense scrutiny in the public eye and maintained her professionalism and commitment to evidence-based policy.

She was the primary author on reports regarding the safety of water fluoridation and on asbestos contamination after the Christchurch earthquake.

She was the principal researcher and author of the Conservation and Environmental Science Roadmap.

She has been a key player in establishing the reputation and relevance of the science advisory system in New Zealand.

She served on the Committee for science advice in emergencies for the Organisation of Economic Development from 2016 to 2018, and is currently an advisor for the International Network for Government Science Advice.

She played a significant role in developing the New Zealand Risk Register and recently chaired the Ministry for the Environment’s panel on National Climate Change Risk Assessment Framework.

Dr Bardsley is a Deputy Director of the Centre for Science in Policy, Diplomacy and Security at the University of Auckland.

Associate Professor Humaira Moeed – of Naenae.

MNZM for services to science education and the community.

Associate Professor Azra Moeed has been an educator for 43 years and has contributed to the development of science education in her community.

Dr Moeed worked as a high school teacher before becoming an academic involved in science teacher education at Victoria University of Wellington from 2001. She has researched and published internationally, and most recently co¬authored two books, ‘Learning through School Science Investigation: Teachers putting research into practice’ and ‘Learning Through School Science Investigation in an Indigenous School’.

She has contributed to the Australasian Science Education Research Association, The American Education Research Association, and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

She has helped Te Kura Māori o Porirua to develop their science education programme since 2014 and established a large butterfly house, which continues to attract schoolchildren to take an interest in science.

She has collected books for school children and helped them to develop their reading ability. She has worked with her local Indian and Muslim communities, supporting them to integrate into New Zealand society.

Dr Moeed has contributed to Capital City Science Educators, the Biology Teachers Network, the Wellington Zoo, Science Fairs, and the Allan Wilson Centre of Molecular Evolution.

David Philip Wright – of Hataitai.

MNZM for services to biodynamic agriculture

Mr Wright worked as the Secretary of the Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association charity (Biodynamics NZ) for 27 years and helped the development of the knowledge and practice of biodynamic agriculture and horticulture in New Zealand.

Mr Wright was the sole full-time employee of Biodynamics NZ for the majority of his tenure, working effectively as a paid volunteer for minimal remuneration, and was made a Life Member of the Association in 2018. He served on the Board of BioGro New Zealand between 1995 and 2015.

He was a member of the Board of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand from its founding in 2005 until 2011.

He was a founding Trustee of the Kete Ora Charitable Trust, set up in 1997 to enable education and research into biodynamic and organic agricultural practices. He was Treasurer and Trustee until stepping down in 2017. He has been Secretary and continues as Inspector for Demeter New Zealand on a voluntary basis, facilitating interactions between Demeter New Zealand and Demeter International.

He has been instrumental over the years in the development of New Zealand’s Demeter Biodynamic Certification standards to an equivalent of Demeter International’s standards.

Mr Wright was a member of the team that developed the NZS8410:2003 Organic Production minimum standard for defining the term “organic” in New Zealand in the early 2000s.

Source:  Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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