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:

07 838 4348

2017 Awardees


Mark Wilson

CEO, Aviva

Bachelor of Management Studies, 1989

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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

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Deborah Challinor

Historian, writer

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

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No award ceremony was held in 2016


2015 Awardees


Peter Churchouse

Financial analyst, publisher and investor

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

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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

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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


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 - Distinguished Alumni

Warren Gatland OBE

Head Coach, Welsh Rugby Union

Diploma of Teaching, 1986

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Karen Morrison-Hume - Distinguished Alumni

Karen Morrison-Hume

Anglican Missioner, Anglican Action

Bachelor of Social Sciences, 1997

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Murray Sherwin - Distinguished Alumni

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 - Distinguished Alumni

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 - Distinguished Alumni

John Erkkila

Founder and Executive Director, New Zealand Home Loans

Bachelor of Sciences, 1985

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Hon Hekia Parata, MP - Distinguished Alumni

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, FRHistS - Distinguished Alumni

Lt Col Dr Christopher Pugsley ONZM, 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 - Distinguished Alumni

Sam Knowles

Kiwibank Founding Chief Executive

Bachelor of Sciences, 1975

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Dr Craig Nevill-Manning - Distinguished Alumni

Dr Craig Nevill-Manning

Director, New York Engineering, Google

Doctor of Philosophy, 1996

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Lt Col Tenby Powell - Distingished Alumni

Lt Col Tenby Powell

Leading Businessman, Director and Chairman

Bachelor of Sciences, 1987

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2009 Awardees

Dr Judy McGregor - Distinguished Alumni

Dr Judy McGregor CNZM

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

Bachelor of Arts, 1970

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Alyn Ware - Distinguished Alumni

Alyn Ware

Peace Activist

Master of Education, 1989

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Annabelle White - Distinguished Alumni

Annabelle White

Celebrity Chef and Cookbook Author

Master of Arts, 1982

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2008 Awardees

Lt Gen Sir Jerry Mateparae - Distinguished Alumni

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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David Derek Sikua - Distinguished Alumni

Dr David Derek Sikua

Former Prime Minister, Solomon Islands

Doctor of Philosophy, 2003

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Peter Vela - Disinguished Alumni

Sir Peter Vela ONZM

Business founder and owner

Master of Social Sciences, 1973

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2007 Awardees

Theresa Gattung - Distinguished Alumni

Theresa Gattung CNZM

Leading New Zealand business personality
Former Telecom CEO

Bachelor of Management Studies, 1984

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Clare McTamney - Distinguished Alumni

Clare McTamney

Manager - Remuneration and Benefits, ANZ

Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) and Bachelor of Laws, 1999

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Deryck Skaw - Distinguished Alumni

Deryck Shaw MNZM

Director, APR Consultants Ltd

Bachelor of Science, 1978

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