Sir Michael Friedlander

Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to philanthropy

Any visitor to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki will be left in no doubt about the generosity of Sir Michael Friedlander to the city's cultural scene.

Queen's Birthday Honours list 2016

So it is little surprise that this wealthy Remuera businessman has been knighted for services to philanthropy, having contributed so extensively to many businesses and organisations throughout Auckland, all the way back to the 1960s via the Friedlander Foundation. That entity funds the Harriet Friedlander Art Residency in New York and is a major donor to Auckland Art Gallery, Venice Biennale and Sculptor in the Park Ponsonby.


He has been a longstanding donor to Great Potentials, the Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters (Hippy), Youthtown, Foundation for Youth Development and Outward Bound. He has funded research for dyslexia and regenerative and stem cell medicine for children with severe conditions.

He has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award since 1990.

Friedlander's wealth came from his extensive property empire. His business, Samson Corporation, exhibits the same taste in property as he does with the arts. For example, the Geyser Building at 100 Parnell Rd, designed by Andrew Patterson, has become a landmark, winning architectural awards.