New Year’s Honours for Two Alumni
Huge congratulations to Archbishop Brown Turei ONZM and Neil Edmundson MNZM for recognition in this year’s New Year Honours List.
Archbishop Brown Turei ONZM (1944)
Celebrating his 91st birthday late last year, Archbishop Brown Turei wasn’t to know that he was about to be honoured by the Queen.
Now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the Anglican Church, Brown Turei says he asked the Prime Minister if the award could be played down. “Don’t make it too flowery. It’s really for the people around me who deserve it more than I do because I don’t think I’ve done enough for it,” he says.
The Most Reverend Brown Turei has served in the Anglican Church since he was ordained a deacon in 1949. He was elected as the Bishop of Aotearoa in 2005, and was the first Ngāti Porou person to hold this position, and a year later was consecrated as Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
Prior to becoming Bishop, he served as the Archdeacon of Waiapū Diocese in Tairāwhiti for eight years, and as the Bishop of Tairāwhiti for 12 years. He has also served in the wider community as the Chaplain at Hukarere Māori Anglican Girls College for nine years, and as the Chaplain of the Napier Prison for four years. Archbishop Brown is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent leaders of Māori both within the church and beyond, and is highly respected for his ability to relate to people across all races and cultures.
Archbishop Brown says that the honour is as much for the church as for him. “The church has been my life, without it I would be a nobody.”
Neil Edmundson MNZM (1974-75)
Awarded his MNZM for services to hockey, Neil has been involved with this sport all his life. He says hockey was the catalyst for him coming to UC (and CH) as in his teens Christchurch was ‘the’ place to play hockey.
Studying accountancy, in his first year at UC Neil won a place in the NZ Universities Team (and later represented Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay) and started his lifetime of involvement in hockey administration. In the late 1970s he instigated the drive for artificial turfs in Christchurch, culminating in 1984 with the establishment of one of New Zealand’s first artificial hockey turfs at Christchurch’s Porritt Park. Moving back to Hawkes Bay, amongst many other hockey activities Neil established the Hawke’s Bay Hockey Artificial Surface Trust to raise funds, and then administer, an artificial turf. He also initiated the establishment of what is now the Hawke’s Bay Hockey Academy.
A director of Napier chartered accountants, Oldershaw & Co Ltd, Neil has now retired from playing hockey due to a bad back, and is working on improving his golf, in between other community projects.
“Receiving the MNZM was a huge surprise. One doesn’t get involved in sport administration or be involved in other community organisations with the thought of getting an honour such as this. I feel slightly awkward receiving this award, as there are so many great volunteers within the sport of hockey. I’ve had some incredible experiences, and plan on continuing to do my best for the Hawke’s Bay community for some years to come,” says Neil.