Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agricultural journalism
Journalism is the only job Hugh Stringleman ever wanted to do. It's no wonder his work is well-regarded for his thorough research, accuracy and balance. So much that he's been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year's Queen's Birthday honours for services to agricultural journalism.
The 72-year-old has been an agricultural journalist for more than 40 years and is renowned for presenting complex issues in an informative and instructive way.
The One Tree Point resident has been the agricultural editor of the Christchurch Press, managing editor of New Zealand Rural Press for 14 years and a contributing journalist for Global HQ for 20 years.
He co-authored the 2006 history of PGG Wrightson 'Rural Challenge' and compiled the book 'Agricultural Heritage: Auckland Agricultural and Pastoral Association Inc 1843-2010'
"I am very grateful a working journalist has been awarded the Order of Merit. I didn't want to do anything other than journalism and agricultural journalism offers plenty of variety," Stringleman said.
Born in Christchurch, he spent a lot of time on an uncle's farm in the Garden City and enrolled for a course in veterinary science at Massey University before switching to arts.
He subsequently combined English with agriculture and the rest if history.
After working as a financial and agriculture journalist in Australia in the 1970s, he returned to New Zealand and joined the Christchurch Press.
"There's a broad field of activities in agricultural journalism, from on-farm interviews, to photos, right through to economic and financial reporting."
Stringleman said business reporting jobs where one tried to make sense of the financial statements of private and public companies were among his favourite topics of writing.
He was President of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators (NZGAJC) in 2008/09 and led the Organising Committee from 2013 for the guild's successful hosting of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) World Congress in New Zealand in 2015.
He has twice been awarded the NZGAJC's top award for excellence in agricultural writing, the Rongo, in 2018 and 30 years previously.
Stringleman was also named Landcorp Communicator of the Year in 1996 and has previously been a member of the Professional Historians Association of New Zealand.