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New Years Honours for Otago staff and alumni


Wednesday, 10 January 2018 11:16am

University of Otago staff and alumni were included in the New Years Honours list for 2018.

Three University of Otago academics and one current University of Otago Council member have been recognised in the 2018 New Year Honours, all becoming Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Included in the Honours were 16 University of Otago alumni.

Professor Barbara Brookes, for services to historical research and women.

Professor Barbara Brookes.

Professor Brookes is Professor of History at the University of Otago and has focused her research on gender relations in New Zealand and the history of health and disease in New Zealand and Britain.

Her academic career has spanned four decades, including eight years as head of the University’s History and Art History departments from 2004.

She has co-edited six books on women’s history and on health and two collections of essays on New Zealand women’s history. Her most recent publication is A History of New Zealand Women (2016), a culmination of decades of research and New Zealand’s first narrative history of its women from the arrival of the first waka until 2015. She has produced ten books and 38 book chapters.

She is currently co-editor of the New Zealand Journal of History and is on the editorial boards of Health and History and the Journal of Family History.

She played a key role in establishing the Staff Women’s Caucus at the University of Otago. In 2016 the University of Otago’s Centre for Research on Colonial Culture hosted the ‘Making Women Visible’ conference on New Zealand women’s history, which recognised Professor Brookes’ leading contribution in this area.

Dr John Guthrie, for services to education and sport.

Dr John Guthrie.

Dr Guthrie established the University of Otago Business Case Competitions in 2004, having been employed in the University’s Department of Marketing since 1988.

Business case competitions involve teams of four students competing to develop the best strategy for a business. He has organised regional, national and international business case competitions on a voluntary basis on top of his University workload. He initiated a competition between the University of Otago and the University of Waikato and has coached Otago University teams to achieve success in international business case competitions.

He was a founding member of the New Zealand Student Development Society (SDS) in 2007 and became Chairman in 2008. SDS has run a national league for business case competitions and has hosted an international competition for the past eight years. He has been Chairman of the International Business Association of Case Competition Coaches since its inception in 2010.

Within the wider community he has been Chairman of the Transition to Work Trust since 2007; President of the Eastern Harbour Tennis Club since 1993; Executive Committee member of the New Zealand Masters Games from 1992 to 2002; and Otago Area Commissioner for Scouting New Zealand.

Dr Guthrie orchestrated the formation of the Bayfield Park Community Sports Trust and initiated the construction of a sports pavilion at Bayfield Park.

Associate Professor Michael Hilton, for services to conservation.

Associate Professor Michael Hilton.

Associate Professor Michael Hilton has made significant contributions to the progression of coastal management in New Zealand, particularly regarding sand dune restoration.

In his own time Associate Professor Hilton has researched, visited, and categorised most sand dunes left in New Zealand and developed a classification list of dunes of National Significance.

He has worked for 20 years on Doughboy Bay and Mason Bay on Stewart Island. His work on Stewart Island has done much to preserve the last remaining West Coast transgressive dune system in New Zealand and the methods he has helped develop for weed management have become the template for the rest of the country.

He has undertaken the science assessment at Kaiterete Spit and developed a plan to restore the site and has worked to solve urban erosion and changing sea level issues at St Kilda beach in Dunedin.

He has more than 50 publications on dune restoration and processes, has freely shared his knowledge in public meetings and talks, and has involved students and volunteers in his field work.

Associate Professor Hilton is a member of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society, New Zealand Coast Society, International Geosphere-Biosphere Committee of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.

Ms Donna Matahaere-Atariki, for services to Māori and health

Ms Donna Matahaere-Atariki.

Ms Donna Matahaere-Atariki has contributed to the health and education of Māori for more than 20 years and has represented Māori at a national level in a range of public forums.

In her early career Ms Matahaere-Atariki taught at the University of Otago prior to being Education Manager at the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation and Executive Officer in the office of Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu.

In 2007 she was Executive Director and a founding Trustee of the Dunedin-based integrated health, education and social services provider Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora. From 2012 to 2014 she was Chief Executive of Ngāi Tahu’s former health subsidiary He Oranga Pounamu.

She is a former member of the National Strategy Group for Early Childhood Education, the National Strategy Group for Race Relations, and the Ministry of Social Development’s National Advisory Council for Families and Community Services. She has been a member of a number of MSD taskforces including the National Taskforce on Family Violence. She is representative for the Māori health sector on the Ministry of Health’s NGO Council.

Ms Matahaere-Atariki is Chair of Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou, a Trustee of Well South Health Network, University of Otago Council member, and a Trustee of Te Whare Pounamu, her local women’s refuge.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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