Radio Hauraki co-founder David Gapes has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to broadcasting.

He was the face of pioneering private radio, as well as local pop and rock music, from the late 1960s and through the 1970s.

With a background in journalism Gapes became an expert in all forms of radio. He played a key role as one of four founders of Radio Hauraki as a sea-based private enterprise radio station in 1966, which in the face of governmental and departmental opposition won sufficient public support to break the state broadcasting monopoly.

He publically headed Radio Hauraki's fight against Government policy in broadcasting and, when in 1969/1970 Radio Hauraki was afforded the chance to apply for a radio licence, steered the company through the application process.

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A documentary five years ago said when broadcasting began the pirates weren't actually playing records on the boat.

The shows were recorded at an Auckland studio a week in advance, flown to Great Barrier Island, and ferried out to the Tiri and the records they played were often supplied by Air NZ pilots, who would go into Tower records in Los Angeles and pick up a copy of every album in the top 40. It was initially thought it would only take them a few weeks at sea before the licence was granted, but the whole campaign took 1111 days in the end.

David Gapes (c) on set with the cast of 3 Mile Limit, a programme about the pirate days. Photo / Supplied
David Gapes (c) on set with the cast of 3 Mile Limit, a programme about the pirate days. Photo / Supplied

The honours citation says he became chairman and chief executive of Radio Hauraki when the public company was formed in 1969. As private radio developed in the 1970s he was an unpaid adviser to many new applicants around New Zealand.

Gapes has managed the rock group Hello Sailor, been editor of AdMedia and Onfilm magazines, and founder and editor of the daily online newsletter M+AD.

Others with business connections who were honoured include:

Professor Charles (Charlie) Eason

Professor Charles (Charlie) Eason has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science and wildlife conservation.

Eason has been the chief executive of the Cawthron Institute since 2012 and a professor of Wildlife Management and Conservation at Lincoln University.

Under his leadership the Cawthron Institute has increased staff numbers by around 100, trebled its operating surplus, and significantly increased its research output. He continues as an active scientist and researcher while also leading the Institute.

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Charles Eason with Prince Charles at the Cawthron Institute in 2015. Photo / Pool
Charles Eason with Prince Charles at the Cawthron Institute in 2015. Photo / Pool

As chief executive he has overseen the securing of long-term research funding for the Institute and the development and marketing of high-value, bioactive compounds extracted from algae, which have introduced a new innovative export product for New Zealand.

He has overseen the establishment by industry of major shellfish spat nurseries on Cawthron-owned land near Nelson and led a research programme to breed virus-resistant oysters to support the rebuilding of the Pacific oyster industry in Northland.

He has led research in the development of new tools and toxins for the control of predators, which have made a material difference nationally in the creation of predator-free zones and sanctuaries.

He is recognised internationally as a leading expert on predator control, has published more than 200 papers and articles, and been lead speaker at numerous international conferences.

Ewan Smith

Ewan Smith has been made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Cook Islands business and tourism.

He founded and has been managing director of Air Rarotonga since 1978, which has made significant contributions to the social and economic development of the Cook Islands.

Air Rarotonga grew from transporting around 3000 to 4000 passengers a year to flying more than 70,000 passengers annually by 2013.

Smith has overseen the development of an Air Ambulance service by Air Rarotonga, including the acquisition of a jet aircraft which has allowed the service to extend to other Pacific countries.

Under his leadership Air Rarotonga has trained and employed almost exclusively Cook Islands-born pilots and support staff.

He has contributed to a number of community causes through Air Rarotonga, which have included sponsoring or providing free air travel for sport or charitable groups, as well as sponsoring the education of a number of Cook Islands children up to tertiary level. He has been chairman of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation since 2011.

He has played key roles in developing long-term relationships with tourism partners such as Air New Zealand.

He was President of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce in 1996 and provided leadership during the Cook Islands economic crisis, championing the establishment of appropriate legal governance frameworks.

Ivan Kwok

Ivan Kwok has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the state.

He worked for the Treasury from 1975 until 2016 and provided service to successive governments and Ministers of Finance. Kwok is a former Treasury solicitor and was principal advisor from 2005 until June 2016.

During his career he has made a substantial contribution to most of the major economic issues facing New Zealand and the Crown, which have included superannuation schemes, commercial loans, debt-raising, institutional structure, sale and financing of Crown agencies, and the rescue package for Air New Zealand.

He is respected by Māori, having built trust and confidence with iwi and been a key individual in some of the most complex issues involving the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, most notably for his role in the ground-breaking Central North Island forestry settlement in 2007/2008.

Kwok has been involved with commercial law reform and has contributed to the Law Commission and the Regulatory Advisory Committee.

Philippa Wright

Philippa Wright has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the wool industry and sustainability.

She has actively promoted and campaigned for the use of wool as a sustainable resource for more than 40 years, making significant contributions to the wool industry.

She is the chief executive of Wright Wool, an independent wool broker based in Waipukurau, and is an active member of many organisations that promote wool as a valuable resource.

Philippa Wright, is an independent wool broker and chief executive of Wright Wool. Photo / Duncan Brown.
Philippa Wright, is an independent wool broker and chief executive of Wright Wool. Photo / Duncan Brown.

She has served as the chair of Campaign for Wool NZ, a global initiative that highlights wool as an eco-friendly and durable fibre.

She is an executive member of Campaign for Wool's global chapter and a trustee of the New Zealand chapter of the Campaign, New Zealand Trust.

She is also a member of a number of associations including the New Zealand Wool Brokers Association, National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests, and International Wool Textile Organisation.

She has frequently been a spokesperson for the wool industry in New Zealand and internationally.

Dedicated to greater education about wool, Wright has played an instrumental role in the Wool for Schools programme since 2015 that teaches year 7 and 8 students about wool.