Whitestone Cheese founder Bob Berry has been awarded an MNZM for services to the industry.
Mr Berry, who is semi-retired and lives at Lakes Hayes, said he was delighted to accept the award on behalf of all those who had contributed to the boutique cheese-making enterprise.
The company employs 60 people and Whitestone is a recognised brand in the United States, Australia and the Pacific.
Mr Berry was born on D-Day 1944, was brought up in Karitane, attended Waitaki Boys’ High School and on leaving school worked for stock and station agency Dalgety and Co.
He began farming a hill country property near Waikouaiti in 1972 and bought another farm at Maheno in 1982.
Mr Berry and his wife, Sue, decided to diversify into cheesemaking in 1987 during the rural downturn.
“I was sick of being a price-taker rather than a price-maker,” Mr Berry said.
“A lot of farmers exited farming during the ’80s and started all sorts of enterprises.”
Mr and Mrs Berry set up their cheese-making factory in a garage with the help of Evansdale Cheese founder Colin Dennison, and slowly built up their knowledge base by employing cheesemakers from Europe and elsewhere in New Zealand.
“All have contributed something to our recipes and the regional styles we have developed.”
The company was now putting out more cheese per day than it did during its entire first year, processing about 55,000 litres of milk a week.
Mr Berry said his favourite cheese was the company’s “flagship” Windsor blue.
He was a founding member of the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association, served as chairman for five years and is a life member.
He continues to sponsor many community initiatives through the company, including contributions to and sponsorship of the Oamaru Opera House and the Alps to Ocean cycle trail.
Whitestone Cheese is now run by his son, Simon.
This is well deserved recognition for service to the industry, business in general and the community.
Other southern rural people honoured include:
Stewart Barrnett, who received an ONZM for services to agriculture and business.
Mr Barnett (73), who spent 34 years with the former PPCS, now Silver Fern Farms, 22 of them as chief executive, said he was extraordinarily lucky to work for a farmers co-operative during his career as it gave him the chance to meet many people in the industry.
He also played a role on New Zealand producer boards, particularly the meat and deer industry boards.
“The meat industry involved me fully; it was constantly evolving.” . . .
Bev Clark received an MNZM for services to health.
A champion of health services in southern rural towns, Bev Clark, of Wanaka, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Born in Winton in 1942, and now retired from her various health advocacy roles, Mrs Clark has a long history of fighting to retain and improve health services.
While farming at Hokonui, in Southland, with husband the late Boyd Clark, Mrs Clark became involved in the successful battle to retain, and improve, maternity services in Winton, spending eight years as chairwoman of the Central Southland Health Trust and the Winton Birthing Unit.
Mrs Clark said last week, at one point her husband joked she should move her bed to the unit because of the amount of time she was spending there.
In the late 1990s, Mrs Clark became involved in an even bigger battle, to retain and upgrade Clyde’s very rundown Dunstan Hospital.
As chairwoman of the board of Central Otago Health Services Ltd, she was one of those who took on Labour health minister Annette King.
In 2003, the board threatened to resign over the state of the hospital, and Mrs Clark recalled being accused of “blackmailing” the government and being described by Ms King as “petulant”.
But a public meeting of 1000 people backed the board and the government agreed to put in $7.6million, with the community adding about $3million more.
Mrs Clark has served as a director on the Southern Regional Health Authority and the Health Funding Authority, has chaired the Consumer Liaison Committee for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and was a council member of their division of Rural Hospital Medicine.
She also spent six years on the New Zealand Psychologists Board.
Mrs Clark is a marriage and funeral celebrant in Wanaka and is a founding executive member, treasurer and life member of the Celebrants Association in New Zealand. . .
She has more than earned recognition for the years of work fighting for and helping to maintain and run rural health services.
Stuart Heal, a former CEO of the rural co-operative CRT received an MNZM for services to cricket andd the community.
Dr Garry Nixon regards his MNZM as recognition of the importance of rural hospital medicine as a specialty.
. . .Dr Nixon (55), of Alexandra, has been a medical officer and rural hospital doctor at Dunstan Hospital since 1992 and was instrumental in establishing rural hospital medicine as a specialty.
He has served as a researcher, teacher and lecturer in rural health at the University of Otago and has introduced several specialty training modules to benefit rural patients.
One of those modules – the certificate of clinician-performed ultrasound programme – has been recognised as a world-class programme of special benefit in remote rural areas.
Dr Nixon was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2010.
In 2014, he was appointed chairman of the university’s health science division’s rural working party and, in 2015, he was made the director of the postgraduate rural medical programmes at the Dunedin School of Medicine.
His aim is to promote the vocation of rural hospital medicine to ensure the career is sustainable and attractive to doctors in the future.
“What gives me the most satisfaction is the opportunity to work with young doctors as they’ve been coming through – they’re a great group.”
There was still a lot of work to do in rural health in terms of bringing it into line with other specialties in medicine so it had the same status and supports, Dr Nixon said.
The full Honours List includes:
To be Dames Companion of the said Order:
The Honourable Ellen Dolour France, of Wellington. For services to the judiciary.
Ms Karen Margaret Sewell, QSO, of Wellington. For services to education.
To be Knights Companion of the said Order:
Mr Robert George Mappin Fenwick, CNZM, KStJ, of Auckland. For services to conservation and business.
Mr Michael Friedlander, CNZM, of Auckland. For services to philanthropy.
Mr Christopher Robert Mace, CNZM, of Auckland. For services to science and education.
Mr Matiu Nohorua Te Rei, of Wellington. For services to Māori.
The Honourable Ronald Leslie Young, of Greytown. For services to the judiciary.
To be Companions of the said Order:
Professor John Renata Broughton, ED, of Dunedin. For services to Māori health, theatre and the community.
Ms Janice Amelia Dawson, of Auckland. For services to governance.
Mr George Gerald Farrant, of Auckland. For services to heritage preservation.
Ms Myrlene Dawn Jones, OBE, JP, of Auckland. For services to netball and education.
Dr Dianne Christine McCarthy, ONZM, of Blenheim. For services to science, business and women.
Dr Thomas Ernest Miller, of Auckland. For services to medical research.
Ms Jennifer Mary Prince, of Wellington. For services to children and children’s health.
Professor William Te Rangiua Temara, of Hamilton. For services to Māori and education.
Other awards for agribusiness and rural people include:
To be Officers of the said Order:
Mr Mark Joseph Greenwood, of Te Puke. For services to biosecurity.
Mr Christopher Morton Kelly, of Wellington. For services to agriculture.
Mr Samuel Kevin Prime, MBE, of Kawakawa. For services to conservation and Māori.
To be Members of the said Order:
Dr Maurice Rewi Alley, of Palmerston North. For services to conservation and education.
Mr Gerald Brackenbury, of Lower Hutt. For services to conservation.
Dr Andrew Ian Dennis, of Nelson. For services to conservation.
Mr Andrew Graeme Lowe, of Havelock North. For services to conservation.
Mr Mervyn Douglas Thomas Utting, of Gisborne. For services to sheep dog trials.
Mr Ruari Ingram Foley, of Waimate. For services to the community.
Mr Gary William Fowler, JP, of Hikuai. For services to the community and agriculture.
Mrs Jennifer Anne Gallagher, JP, of Darfield. For services to the community.
Mr Jacob Cornelis van Dorsser, of Rotorua. For services to the environment.