Queen's Birthday Honours 2012: World Cup brains in sports list

Steve Hansen. Photo / Getty Images
Steve Hansen. Photo / Getty Images

Sport was well represented in this year's Queen's Birthday honours, a special nod going to the brains behind the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup win.

All Blacks head coach Steven Hansen was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, as was Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith, for services to the game.

Hansen said the award reflected how rugby and the All Blacks had enriched his life.

Smith said his award was a huge honour for his wife and family who had supported him throughout his playing and coaching days.

Neville Crichton (yachting) and Justice John Gendall (services to the state and sport) were also made Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

NZRU chairman Mike Eagle is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby, as are Richard Guy and Andrew Sturgeon.

Long-time Wellington Saints owner Nick Mills was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to basketball. Leon Blanchet (athletics) and Robyn Broughton (netball) were also made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

The top sports honour was reserved for former All Black John Kirwan, who was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby and mental health. Kirwan has lived in Europe for a decade, coaching Italy then Japan, and has spearheaded TV campaigns to raise awareness of mental illness.

The following were made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for: Trevor Shailer (sport and the community); James Blair (athletics); Temepara George (netball); Gordon Henderson (sporting aviation); Phil Keinzley (soccer); Brenda Perry (women's tennis); John Thomas (surf lifesaving); Dean Lonergan (sport and philanthropy); and Alfred Wakefield (harness racing).

Stephen McKean was made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport, while six people received a Queen's Service Medal: Brian Diver (youth sport), Renzie Hanham (karate), John Lockyer (rugby refereeing), Ian McKinnon (athletics), Carol Quirk (surf lifesaving), Noel Steele (hockey).

- APNZ

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