Queens Birthday honours and CBR

03 June 2014

Sir John Hood
Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to tertiary education

Sir John's leadership of the University of Auckland was marked as a time of innovation.  Originally a BE graduate, John went on to complete a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland and he was instrumental in the completion of major new building projects including the Fale Pasifika and Kate Edgar Information Commons. 

During his five years as Vice-Chancellor, which ended in 2004 when he was appointed to the same role at Oxford University, Auckland University's income and international research rankings climbed, spurred by greater focus on research under his leadership.

An overhaul of the campus also took place, with new buildings being erected and more advanced administrative and financial systems implemented.



Sir John, who now heads the New York charity grants organisation Robertson Foundation, was awarded the Sir Peter Blake medal for leadership in 2009.

CBR’s Aotearoa Fellowships are funded by the Aotearoa Foundation which was set up by Julian Robertson (Robertson Foundation), New York. www.robertsonfoundation.org


Mrs Catriona Williams
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to spinal cord injury research.

Catriona Williams’ (right centre)  illustrious equestrian career saw her reach the pinnacle of the show jumping and three-day event world. She represented New Zealand on the international stage at Badminton and the Open European Championships.

Following a riding accident in 2002, she is now C6/C7 tetraplegic and confined to a wheelchair. Initially a group of friends planned to fundraise for Williams herself – but a bigger picture quickly became clear.

After exploring several options, the group agreed that their aim was to support researchers in the very realistic bid for a cure for Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). In 2005 Catriona Williams founded the CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust, raising funds to support research so that a cure for Spinal Cord Injury will be found.

A grant from the CatWalk Trust funds the research work of CBR’s Dr Simon O’Carroll.

Since founding the trust Catriona has worked tirelessly to raise funds including completing the New York City Marathon, climbing to Everest Base Camp and most recently she was a finalist in the 2014 KiwiBank New Zealander of the Year!