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Distinguished Alumni

These awards celebrate and honour graduates of the University of Waikato who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and communities.

They are graduates who have achieved at all heights of their careers, and have achieved excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors.

Past awardees highlight the diversity and excellence of Waikato's alumni, and you can read more about them below.

All graduates with a degree or diploma are eligible for nomination. Nominations from students, alumni, current and former staff of the University of Waikato and members of the community are welcome.

If you would like to nominate someone for this award, please complete the official Distinguished Alumni Awards nomination form and forward to the Alumni Office.

For more information, please contact the Alumni Office:
Phone: 07 838 4348
Email: alumni@waikato.ac.nz

2017 Awardees

Mark Wilson

CEO, Aviva

Bachelor of Management Studies, 1989
Read more

Professor Fui Le'apai Tu'ua 'Īlaoa Asofou So’o

Vice-Chancellor and President of the National University of Samoa

Bachelor of Education, 1981; Bachelor of Arts, 1982; Master of Arts, 1988
Read more

Deborah Challinor

Historian, writer

Bachelor of Arts, 1981; Master of Arts (Honours), 1994; Doctor of Philosophy, 1999
Read more


2016 Awardees

No award ceremony was held this year


2015 Awardees

Peter Churchouse

Financial analyst, publisher and investor

Bachelor of Arts, 1970; Master of Social Sciences, 1971
Read more

Hinewehi Mohi MNZM

Managing Director, Raukatauri Productions Ltd, singer and songwriter, co-founder and trustee of the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre

Bachelor of Arts, 1985
Read more

Rob Waddell ONZM

Chef de Mission, New Zealand Olympic Committee

Bachelor of Management Studies (Honours), 1998
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2014 Awardees

Jamie Fitzgerald

Management consultant, adventurer and motivational speaker

Bachelor of Communication Studies, 2005
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DR Arthur Grimes

Economist

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1979
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Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane QSO

Author; Inaugural Director, Pacific Island Education Resource Centre

Bachelor of Arts, 1974 and Master of Arts, 1976
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Parekawhia McLean

CEO, Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1986 and Master of Social Sciences, 1992
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2013 Awardees

Professor Marston Conder

Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, University of Auckland

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1976 and Master of Social Sciences, 1978
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Judge Stephanie Milroy

Maori Land Court Judge and former Deputy Chair, Waitangi Tribunal

Master of Laws, 1997
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Edmund Wee

Managing and Creative Director, Epigram (Design) and Publisher and CEO, Epigram Books

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1974 and Master of Social Sciences, 1976
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2012 Awardees

Warren Gatland OBE

Head Coach, Welsh Rugby Union

Diploma of Teaching, 1986
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Karen Morrison-Hume

Anglican Missioner, Anglican Action

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1997
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Murray Sherwin CNZM

Chairman, New Zealand Productivity Commission

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1974 and Master of Social Sciences, 1976
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2011 Awardees

Paul Bowker

Owner, Hotel on Devonport, H & H Construction Ltd

Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, 2007 and Master of Business Administration, 2008
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John Erkkila

Founder and Executive Director, New Zealand Home Loans

Bachelor of Sciences, 1985
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Hon Hekia Parata MP

Minister of Education

Bachelor of Arts, 1980 and Master of Arts, 1984
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Lt Col Dr Christopher Pugsley ONZ, FRHistS

Military historian and Former Senior Lecturer War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Doctor of Philosophy, 1992
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2010 Awardees

Sam Knowles

Kiwibank Founding Chief Executive

Bachelor of Sciences, 1975
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Dr Craig Nevill-Manning

Director, New York Engineering, Google

Doctor of Philosophy, 1996
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Lt Col Tenby Powell

Leading Businessman, Director and Chairman

Bachelor of Sciences, 1987
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2009 Awardees

Dr Judy McGregor CNZM

Head of School/Associate Dean, School of Social Sciences, AUT

Bachelor of Arts, 1970
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Alyn Ware

Peace Activist

Master of Education, 1989
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Annabelle White

Celebrity Chef and Cookbook Author

Master of Arts, 1982
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2008 Awardees

HE Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM QSO

Governor General and former NZ Defence Force chief

Master of Arts, 1996
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Dr David Derek Sikua

Former Prime Minister, Solomon Islands

Doctor of Philosophy, 2003
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Sir Peter Vela ONZM

Business founder and owner

Master of Social Sciences, 1973
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2007 Awardees

Theresa Gattung CNZM

Leading New Zealand business personality Former Telecom CEO

Bachelor of Management Studies, 1984
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Clare McTamney

Manager - Remuneration and Benefits, ANZ

Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws, 1999
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Deryck Shaw MNZM

Director, APR Consultants Ltd

Bachelor of Science, 1978
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