2 March 2016 Diverse advocates for top Lincoln University awards
Services to the environment, agriculture, science and policy are recognised by Lincoln University with its top achievement awards announced today.
The awards – two honorary doctorates and two medals – represent distinction and outstanding contribution to the benefit of New Zealand and the world.
The two honorary doctorates and the Bledisloe Medal will be presented at the University’s Graduation ceremonies on Friday 8 April 2016. The Lincoln Alumni International Medal will be presented to the recipient at a Ministerial reception in Hobart this week.
“It is the University’s privilege to honour these four passionate and aspiring individuals,” says Lincoln University Chancellor, Tom Lambie.
“The Hon John Luxton, QSO, always been a strong advocate of the importance of sound management, science and economics as cornerstones for New Zealand agriculture and to ensuring appropriate policy settings for the sector to flourish and with that we award him with an honorary doctorate of science.
“Awarded with an honorary doctorate in natural resources, former Environment Court Judge, the Honorary Professor Peter Skelton, CNZM, has spent nearly 40 years championing and advocating for environmental management. Following his retirement from the bench in February 2000, he brought his high level of expertise to Lincoln, acting as the Associate Professor of Resource Management Law at the University between 2000 and 2008.
“The recipient of the Bledisloe Medal is Don McFarlane, MNZM, whose passion lies in agriculture innovation and development. He’s a quiet, behind-the-scenes leader who excels in bringing both people and ideas together.
“The recipient of the Lincoln Alumni International Medal is Deputy Premier of Tasmania, Hon Jeremy Rockliff. He has forged a career in Australian state politics without losing his passion for farming and rural life.
“Each of these individuals inspired the Lincoln University Council and I look forward to presenting the Hon John Luxton, Hon Professor Peter Skelton and Don McFarlane with their respective honours and awards at Graduation in April. The University will be acknowledging the Hon Jeremy Rockliff as part of a Ministerial Reception in Hobart, Tasmania, on 3 March.”
Hon John Luxton, QSO, Honorary Doctor of Science: A recipient of the Queen’s Service Order and an A.C .Cameron Award winner, Mr Luxton is also a former parliamentarian and Minister of the Crown. During his time as a Minister, his roles were varied and an indication of his broad interests, knowledge and abilities. Mr Luxton is Co-Chair of the Waikato River Authority, Chair of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and of Hauraki Iwi owned Pouarua Farm Partnership and a Director of Wallace Corporation, Tatua Co-op Dairy Company, and a number of private farming companies. Mr Luxton recently stepped down from his position as the inaugural chairman of DairyNZ in 2015 after eight years in the role.
Honorary Professor Peter Skelton, CNZM, Honorary Doctor of Natural Resources: Former Environment Court Judge Peter Skelton, now an Environment Canterbury Commissioner, is considered a pioneer in his field. In 1978, he became the first Environment Court Judge to be based in the South Island, with the expansion of a judiciary based in Auckland and Wellington. He spent more than 20 years in the role, and more recently, his depth of experience has played a key part in developing water management plans for Canterbury. Honorary Professor Skelton has always had a strong interest in access to justice both as a practising lawyer and as a Judge and in 2001 he was appointed the first Chair of the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund’s Advisory Committee administered by the Ministry for the Environment that enables community groups to obtain funding for resource management cases. In 2001, Honorary Professor Skelton was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to environment law.
Don McFarlane, MNZM, JP, Bledisloe Medal: Don McFarlane believes in cooperative schemes which benefit the local community, as well as regionally and nationally, and has a long record of leadership in the agricultural sector in South Canterbury. As chairman of CRT, he was instrumental in growing it to a South Island wide organisation, which increased its revenue from $50m to $1.25b and then merging with Farmlands to form a nationwide cooperative. Mr McFarlane is Deputy Chair of Farmlands and has directorships with the New Zealand Honey Co-operative, and Runanga owned Moeraki Investments. He is Chairman of agriculture machinery manufacturer Duncan/Clough. He was an inaugural director of the NZ Blackcurrant Cooperative; Chairman of Aoraki Business Development Board and South Canterbury Federated Farmers President. More than 50 years as a prominent and active leader in the South Canterbury agricultural sector earned him a Queen's Birthday Honour in 2015. He was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to agriculture and the community.
Hon Jeremy Rockliff, Lincoln Alumni International Medal: Deputy Premier of Tasmania, Hon Jeremy Rockliff, is also Minister of Education and Training, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, and Minister of Racing for the State. He returned to his family farm at Sassafras in Northwest Tasmania, with a Diploma in Farm Management from Lincoln in 1990. Jeremy is known for his strong representation of the north-west coast and as this diverse industry base produces much of Tasmania’s wealth, he believes the region commensurately deserves its fair share of Government support and services.
The Lincoln University Council established an Honorary Degrees Committee in November 1992 to enable it to confer higher doctorates honoris causa, with the first honorary doctorates awarded in 1993. An honorary doctorate is awarded to a person who has an established connection with Lincoln University to recognise their achievement in his or her chosen field.
The Bledisloe Medal, initiated in 1930 by the late Viscount Bledisloe, former Governor-General of New Zealand, is awarded to a former student or past or current staff member of Lincoln University who, in the opinion of the Lincoln University Council, has made an outstanding contribution in his or her chosen field, advanced New Zealand's interests, and/or brought credit to Lincoln University.
Lincoln Alumni International Medal
The Lincoln Alumni International Medal is awarded to a former student, or a past or current staff member of Lincoln University who, in the opinion of the Lincoln University Council, has made an outstanding contribution to his or her chosen field, and brought credit to Lincoln University through achievements in a country other than New Zealand.