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2012 Winners

Winners - 2012 World Class New Zealand Awards

Supreme Award: Sir Paul Callaghan

Professor Sir Paul Callaghan was one of New Zealand’s great scientists—a giant in the world of molecular physics.

He was born in Whanganui and began his research career at school in typically robust fashion, blowing up rocks with Molotov cocktails.

His passionate curiosity took him all the way to Oxford University.  But he chose to return to New Zealand to pursue the secrets of nuclear magnetic resonance. His work here has had a profound impact globally in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.  

Sir Paul’s many international honours include being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In New Zealand, he set up a centre of research excellence at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and built a business, Magritek, to commercialise his work.

In his last years, he shared tirelessly his vision for New Zealand’s culture and economy.  His Transit of Venus forum brought together thinkers from across the community.  He became a great communicator—urging the twin messages that the high-tech economy is the way forward for us, and that our natural environment is our most precious point of difference.

People such as Professor Sir Paul Callaghan are rare in any nation.

He did not just fulfil the promise of his own extraordinary talent: he sought to make his country a place where everyone’s talents could flourish.  In the way he worked, and the way he lived, he showed us all how to be the best we can be.

The Supreme World Class New Zealand award, sponsored by: AirNZ logo


Iconic New Zealander: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Kiri Te Kanawa won legendary status almost overnight after her sensational debut as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971.  She went on to become one of the most famous sopranos in the world.

Dame Kiri is a familiar figure in the world’s leading opera houses and with the great companies—at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Paris Opera, the Sydney Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, La Scala and the San Francisco Opera.

Continuing to develop as a recitalist, she is now a much sought-after singer in a wide variety of musical contexts.  On the concert stage, her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with the world’s major orchestral ensembles—the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the Boston Symphony.

In 2004 Dame Kiri gave a gala concert in Auckland to launch the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, which supports dedicated young singers and musicians.

She continues to perform in concert halls throughout the world, with recent performances in China, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Korea, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is considered one of the greatest sopranos of the twentieth century. Her singular achievement is built on an exceptional natural talent, but also on artistic integrity and sheer hard work.  

She has won global respect while retaining a distinctively New Zealand and Māori identity.  In so doing, she has become a genuine icon for our country.

 The Iconic New Zealander Award, sponsored by: 


The seven sector category winners were announced on April 23:

Life Sciences Award:
 Sir Graeme Douglas

Sir Graeme Douglas is Managing Director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, which he founded in 1967 and is now one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in Australasia.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals’ operations started as a marketer and distributor of ethical and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines in New Zealand prior to diversifying into the manufacture of generic pharmaceuticals for the domestic market in the 1980’s. With around 450 staff and turnover of more than $140 million, it is now the largest employer in Waitakere, Auckland.

As well as the highly acclaimed domestic success, Sir Graeme’s greatest commercial achievement is linked to the initiation of Douglas’ export growth story, with 15 different generic products being sold to 60 customers in 35 countries around the world.

In 2012 Douglas Pharmaceuticals received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to sell and distribute its New Zealand-developed acne medication ‘isotretinoin’ in the United States.

Sir Graeme’s highly devolved leadership style and long-term investment commitment has greatly encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship within the company. He is highly regarded in the industry and recognised among his peers as a role model. In 1998, he was appointed as a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the New Zealand pharmaceuticals industry, and in 2010 he received the Insignia of a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to philanthropy and athletics.

Apart from his leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, Sir Graeme is a widely respected philanthropist. He has been a keen supporter of the community of west Auckland and is one of the major sponsors of the Waitakere City Stadium, and numerous organisations including: The Cancer Foundation, the Neurological Foundation, the Salvation Army, New Zealand Heart Foundation and Auckland City Mission. He recently donated $3 million to Starship Hospital for the launch of a new MRI service.

Life Sciences award sponsored by: 




Creative Award: Ian Taylor

Recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading Māori innovators, Ian Taylor is the founder
and owner of one of New Zealand’s leading computer graphics companies Animation Research Limited (ARL) based in Dunedin.

Ian worked with TVNZ for 20 years before he left in 1988 to establish three successful technology businesses in Dunedin: Taylormade Media, a multi-media company; Animation Research Ltd (ARL), a computer animation company; and BookIt, a specialist online booking company.

He shot to fame in the computing world when ARL provided revolutionary real-time 3-D sports graphics at the 1992 America's Cup. The company has gone on to expand this technology into a range of global sports, including golf, cricket, tennis and Formula One.

Besides sports, the company has contributed computer animation to television shows both within New Zealand and overseas including: Kiwi documentary series Human Potential, the BBC's Inventions That Changed the World, and National Geographic’s Mega Disasters.

In 2006 ARL's Air Traffic Control Simulator, built in partnership with Airways New Zealand, won three categories of the Computer World Excellence Awards.

Born in Kaeo in Northland, of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, Ian was raised in the small east coast settlement of Raupunga, halfway between Napier and Gisborne.

Ian has also worked on some landmark Māori graphic developments, including the award winning Whale Watch Kaikoura's virtual tour, the 3D Aoraki/Mt Cook visitor attraction and, most recently, the 3D Maui story which screened in Waka Maori during the Rugby World Cup.

He was a member of the Government’s ICT Task Force, was one of four trustees on the Secondary Futures Trust and is currently on the Innovation Board of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and is a Board member of Maori Television.

Ian was inducted into the New Zealand Hi-Tech Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named North & South magazine’s 2010 New Zealander of the Year. He was named a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year Honours, for services to television and business.
 Creative Award sponsored by: 




Investment and Business Award: Hon. Peter S. Watson

Dr The Hon. Peter Watson is President & CEO of the Dwight Group, the Washington
D.C.-based investment bank.

Dr. Watson, who has had the privilege of serving in the White House reporting directly to the President of the United States, was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2012, and an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2002.

At the White House, he served as Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council between 1989 and 1991 during the term of George H.W. Bush, and held top posts in the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

His varied investment career involved serving as Chairman and President & CEO of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an agency of the US Government that assists businesses to invest overseas. He was also the Chairman of the US International Trade Commission.

In addition, he served as a Counsel to the New Zealand Consulate General in Los Angeles, as well as with corporations such as Air New Zealand, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and the Bank of New Zealand, among others.

He has served as a Visiting Professor at St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, for its Annual International Business Programme, and as a Distinguished Lecturer at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He has also published several articles and books on international business and international economic relations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Watson is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Award for Public Service, The University of Auckland’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and Auckland Grammar School’s Augusta Award for Service. He is a member of the University of Auckland’s Business Advisory Board, and assists the Auckland University of Technology’s Business School on special projects.

One of his recent contributions to New Zealand was setting up The American Friends of Christchurch charity within a day of the Christchurch earthquake. The charity raised millions of dollars and is still the premier portal for donations to New Zealand overseas.

Investment and Business Award sponsored by:   



Information and Communications Award: Dr. David Kirk

David Kirk, best known as the Captain of the All Blacks team that won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, is currently Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Bailador Investment Management, Chairman of Trade Me and Executive Chairman of The Hoyts Group.

David was Chief Executive of Fairfax Media from 2005 to 2008, and was responsible for building its market capitalisation value as high as $9 billion. During this period he completed the biggest technology deal in New Zealand history with the $750 million purchase of Trade Me.

He was also previously the CEO of the ASX listed printing and media services company PMP. He was awarded ‘CEO of the Year’ and ‘Leader of the Year’ at the inaugural Australian Human Capital Awards held in Sydney in 2005.

David’s earlier career highlights include senior management positions at Fletcher Challenge and Norske Skog. He also worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. in London before taking up the position of the Chief Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand (the Rt. Hon. Jim Bolger).

He is a Rhodes Scholar with degrees in medicine from Otago University and philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. He is currently the Chairman of Trustees of Sydney Grammar School and sits on a number of other boards including investee companies of Bailador and charitable organisations.

Born in Wellington, David enjoyed a highly successful rugby career, playing for Otago and Auckland, and captaining the All Blacks to win the World Cup in 1987. He is President of the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association, was awarded an MBE for his services to rugby in 1987 and now lives in Sydney.

Information and Communications Award sponsored by: 



Manufacturing, Design and Innovation Award: Jeremy Moon

Jeremy Moon is the founder and CEO of Icebreaker, the first company in the world to
develop a merino wool layering system for the outdoors.

At the age of 24, after a chance meeting with a merino wool grower, Jeremy gave up his research job to pioneer a new retail category: merino outdoor clothing. Icebreaker now sells merino garments for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle markets in more than 3000 stores across 43 countries.

Icebreaker clothing is made from premium merino wool grown in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The company buys about 60% of the available merino clip in New Zealand in its micron class, and was the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino wool directly from growers.

With a business model based on innovation and design, Icebreaker has grown into an iconic international brand for New Zealand. Icebreaker has offices in Australia, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and the Czech Republic.

Jeremy directs all major operating and business strategies from the company's global headquarters in Wellington. There are about 100 staff in New Zealand and 250 offshore, who are a mix of kiwis and locals. His leadership has seen the company grow rapidly, with sales more than doubling over the past four years.

A leading contributor to sustainable business practices and on the role of design and innovation in business, Jeremy was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2008 for his services to business.

Jeremy chairs the New Zealand Government's Better by Design group, within NZTE, which helps companies to become competitive internationally by integrating design principles across their business.

In 2009, Jeremy was included in Sporting Goods Business's '40 Under 40' awards programme, which honours future leaders of the sporting goods industry in the USA.

Jeremy says his philosophy is: “To get what you want, you need to give others what they want.” He imagines a society where “business leaders are known for their ability to inspire others and create great companies, rather than solely for their ability to make money.”

Manufacturing, Design and Innovation Award sponsored by:   

New Thinking Award: Tony Falkenstein

Tony Falkenstein has been a leading CEO for more than 30 years, of subsidiaries of multi national companies, two NZX-listed companies, and for the past 25 years, his own family company, Red Eagle Corporation Limited.

Tony was instrumental in establishing New Zealand’s first secondary-level business school at Onehunga High School, with a goal - satisfied in 2010 - of introducing ‘business’ as a subject in the National Curriculum.

He helped establish the $10 million AUT Venture Fund, with the purpose of encouraging students to start business ventures in combination with their studies. He is the only New Zealander listed in the ‘The New Philanthropists’ by international author, Charles Handy, who included a chapter on Tony, as the modern philanthropist.

In 1989, Tony founded Just Water, which he floated as a publicly-listed company in 2005, and is now a major player in the New Zealand and Australian markets.

He acquired Bartercard New Zealand in 2001, a company that has since grown rapidly and now has an annual trading turnover in excess of $250 million.

His other business interests include Buro Seating, which is a leader in the seating industry operating in New Zealand and Australia; Boyd Visuals, a video conferencing and multi-media projector company; and Rondit Holdings Ltd, which has commercial property interests.

In 2009, Tony coordinated the New Zealand Entrepreneurial Summit which invited 100 entrepreneurs with 100 ideas (one idea per entrepreneur) for a discussion on how to improve the country's productivity. The top five ideas from the summit were presented to the Government.

He is passionate about business education as the key to New Zealand’s economic prosperity, and is on the advisory board of the University of Auckland Business School and AUT University Business School.

In 2008, Tony was inducted into the Fairfax New Zealand Business Hall of Fame, and was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010 for his services to business. In 2011, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.

New Thinking Award sponsored by:   



Science, Technology and Academia Award: Professor Malcolm Grant

An eminent academic, Professor Malcolm Grant is a leading Vice-Chancellor, barrister, environmental lawyer and public servant. He has recently been appointed to chair the Board responsible for England’s National Health Service.

He was born and raised in Oamaru, and attended Waitaki Boys’ High School and the University of Otago. Following graduate studies at Otago he was appointed to the Law Faculty of Southampton University, then Professor of Law at University College London (UCL) then Professor and Head of Department of Land Economy (1991–2003) at the University of Cambridge, where he also served as Pro-Vice Chancellor from 2001-03.

Since 2003 he has been President and Provost of UCL. Founded in 1832, UCL is one of the four leading universities in Europe, and currently ranked number seven in the world. It has 25,000 students and 9,000 staff and a turnover of NZ$1.6 billion. Located in the centre of London, it is the UK’s largest life sciences and medical research institution.
Over the last nine years Professor Grant has led UCL’s rapid development as a global university, and as one of the world’s leading medical science institutions.

His professional qualifications include: barrister and solicitor (NZ); barrister, England and Wales and Member of the Bench of Middle Temple; Honorary Member, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; Honorary Member, Royal Town Planning Institute; and Honorary Life Member, New Zealand Resource Management Law Association. The University of Otago conferred an honorary doctorate on him in 2006.

His current public appointments include: British Business Ambassador (appointed by the Prime Minister); Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.

In October 2011 he was appointed by the UK Government to chair the National Health Service’s new Commissioning Board for England, which from 2013 will assume responsibility for the bulk of the nation’s health budget, of around NZ$160 billion per annum, with a mandate to transform healthcare outcomes in England.

Professor Grant served two terms of appointment as Chair of the Local Government Commission for England (1996–2001) and also as Chair of the Agriculture & Environment Biotechnology Commission (2000–2005), providing strategic advice to the Government on the implications of developments in biotechnology, including genetic modification, for agriculture and the environment. He served as Chair of the Russell Group of the UK’s research-intensive universities from 2007-2010 and is currently a Director of the League of European Research Universities.

Professor Grant was awarded the CBE in 2003 for services to planning law and local government. He was appointed Officier dans l’Ordre de Mérite (Officer of the National Order of Merit) by the French Government in 2004.

With an outstanding career in research, he has published widely in areas including: planning and environmental law, regulation of biotechnology, finance and political management, and environmental dispute resolution.

Science, Technology and Academia Award sponsored by: 


The tall poppy Award statuettes are sponsored (and designed and made) by: Weta Workshop