Jan Dawson's list of business contributions spans most sectors of New Zealand, from directorships with Air New Zealand and AIG Insurance to Meridian Energy, Goodman Fielder and Beca. Her appointment to chairwoman of the board of Westpac New Zealand last year made her the first New Zealand woman to chair the board of a major bank. She has more than 30 years' experience in the financial and accounting sector and is the former chairwoman and chief executive of KPMG New Zealand. As well as her business prowess, Dawson has been heavily involved in academic and sporting organisations. For this and numerous other works, she has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance.
Pushpa Wood is recognised as an international expert in financial literacy and has contributed to discussion documents for the OECD. While with the Commission for Financial Capability she developed a quality assurance system for financial literacy providers and developed a competency framework for adults, which is now widely used by the education and industry sectors including NZQA. She has developed financial literacy training models for indigenous communities and was a member of the Steering Group for Improving Maori and Pacific Financial Literacy. She is also director of the Westpac Massey Financial Education and Research Centre, and chairwoman of the New Zealand chapter of the World Council of Religion and Peace. For this she has been appointed officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to financial literacy and inter-faith relations.
Dianne McCarthy's appointment as a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science, business and women, is well deserved. As chief executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand from 2007 until 2014, McCarthy raised the profile of the society, strengthened its financial position and promoted a number of initiatives, including the establishment of the Rutherford Foundation Trust and the development of the society's new national headquarters in Wellington. She is passionate about encouraging women into careers in science and helping them develop their leadership potential in this sector. McCarthy was awarded the Outstanding Business Citizenship Award at the Wellington Businesswoman of the Year Awards in 2010 and was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008.
Sarah Paykel is not just a PR women. The experienced business owner founded public relations and communications firm Sarah Paykel Limited, but she has also been a founding partner and director of Lush Cosmetics Australasia, winning awards from the Australian business community. In addition to this, Paykel provides support for health and not-for-profit organisations, and is on the board of companies including Rose & Thorne lingerie, My Droplet Charitable Trust and Co.OfWomen to support New Zealand female entrepreneurs. She is also a trustee of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and works with numerous charitable trusts. For this, Paykel has been appointed member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business.
As a leader in New Zealand's agricultural sector and current chairman of Beef and Lamb Genetics, Chris Kelly has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agriculture. Kelly is also a director of Crown Irrigation Investment Company and Chancellor of Massey University. In his role as chief executive of Landcorp Farming from 2001 to 2013, he introduced dairy and deer farming to the company, increased revenue to $230 million and drove significant improvements in training and environmental management. During his time as general manager corporate planning and global manager corporate development with the New Zealand Dairy Board, he was involved with and led a number of key initiatives that helped the development of the dairy industry.
New Zealand's nearly $30 billion Superannuation Fund is the world's best performing sovereign wealth fund over the past five years and since 2012 has been presided over by chairman Gavin Walker. In the past three years under Walker's leadership the fund returned an average of 15 per cent per annum. The New Zealand Super Fund was recognised for its excellence in governance by Deloitte Top 200 last year. Walker has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry both at executive and board level, including as founding chief executive of the Bankers Trust New Zealand, before leading the Bankers Trust Investment Bank in Sydney. Walker is currently chairman of ASB among other board and governance roles. For his services to state and business, Walker was appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
For services to business and women, Tara Lorigan, founder of Co.OfWomen, has been made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Lorigan founded the business support organisation in 2009, helping to launch Women Entrepreneurs Week in 2010 and the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 2012. Lorigan founded Growmybiz in 2007 to support owner-led businesses such as Pita Bread and Bookabach. She was appointed from 2003 to 2006 as director of incubation and marketing at the Auckland University of Technology's Technology Park, and has previously held numerous senior roles for multinational and start-up technology companies in New Zealand and the UK.