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New Year Honours List 2023 - Citations for Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

HARCOURT, Ms Miranda Catherine Millais, ONZM

For services to the screen industry and theatre

Ms Miranda Harcourt has made award-winning contributions to the theatre and screen industries as an actor, acting coach, producer, director and writer.

Ms Harcourt has applied her skills as a drama-therapist within the New Zealand prison system. A pioneer of verbatim theatre in New Zealand in the 1990s, alongside her husband Stuart McKenzie, they toured their acclaimed show ‘Verbatim’ (1993) nationally and internationally to theatres, schools and prisons. She has collaborated on numerous projects with her husband, including adapting their play ‘Portraits’ (1996) into the feature film ‘For Good’ (2003) and creating 10-part documentary series ‘Tough Act’ (2005). She wrote and co-directed the 2017 feature film ‘The Changeover’, based on Margaret Mahy’s coming-of-age novel. Most recently, their verbatim play ‘Transmission’ (2021) dramatized aspects of New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was Head of Acting at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School from 1998 to 2005 and now works globally with leading directors and actors. Her clients have been nominated for and won BAFTAs, AAFTAs, Golden Globes, Emmys and Academy Awards. She is founding tutor at Rātā Studios in Wellington and continues to champion New Zealand talent on the world stage. Ms Harcourt has been an advocate for social change organisations including Women’s Refuge and So They Can.


Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Queen's Birthday 2002

New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

PALMER, Professor Farah Rangikoepa, ONZM

For services to sport, particularly rugby

Professor Farah Palmer (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) is a three-time Rugby World Cup winning captain of the New Zealand women's rugby team (Black Ferns) and has held a variety of governance roles since retiring as a player in 2006.

Professor Palmer was professional development manager for the Manawatū Rugby Union, an independent member of the Māori Rugby Board, member of the Women's Advisory Committee of the International Rugby Board, and research consultant for New Zealand Rugby. She became the first woman on the New Zealand Rugby Board in 2016 and was elected Deputy Chairperson in 2021. She currently chairs the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board and is President of the New Zealand Rugby Museum. In 2022, she was appointed as Pou Ākonga Executive Director - Māori Student Success at Massey University and previously was Associate Dean Māori for Massey Business School from 2018. Her research and service focusses on the intersection of Māori and gender identities in high performance sport, sport for development, organisational and leadership contexts. She was a member of Te Manahua New Zealand Universities Women in Leadership Programme Committee from 2015 to 2020. She was a member of the Ministerial Taskforce reviewing Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship in 2014 and was a founding Trustee for Manukura, an education programme with a Te Ao Māori approach to excellence in sport, culture and education. She has held several mentoring and patron roles with education and public sector organisations. Professor Palmer is a member of the Sport and Recreation New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa Board.


Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2007

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To be a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

WRIGHT, Dr Janice Claire (Jan)

For services to the State and the environment

Dr Jan Wright was Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for two terms from 2007 until 2017.

Dr Wright commenced her role as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment at a time of growing public and political interest in environmental issues and has since built a reputation for her methodical approach, robust independent advice, and as a skilful public communicator. Her leadership of the office has been recognised as valuable and pragmatic across Parliament. She has provided independent advice on topics ranging from fracking and agricultural emissions to the plight of the longfin eel. Her 2011 report ‘Evaluating the use of 1080: Predators, poisons and silent forests’ has been a continuing reference in the debate around the use of the pesticide 1080. She has delivered two major reports on the consequences of climate change. Her reports on freshwater quality have provided an accessible overview of the science and provided policy options to parliamentarians. She has previously been Chair of Land Transport New Zealand and Transfund New Zealand and held membership of the Boards of Transit New Zealand, ACC, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and the Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council. Dr Wright currently chairs the Te Manahuna Aoraki conservation project, a nationally significant biodiversity project in Aoraki National Park and the upper Mackenzie Basin.


New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal

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Last updated: 
Saturday, 31 December 2022

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