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Jul 18, 2016

Meet the 2016 members of the NZ Business Hall of Fame

Eight New Zealanders who have shaped their industries and given back to their communities.


Established in 1994 by Young Enterprise Trust, the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame recognises and celebrates individuals who have made a significant contribution to the economic and social development of New Zealand. Laureates are admitted to the Hall at an annual black-tie gala dinner. Each Laureate has a story of enterprise, hard work and success. Most have contributed generously to their communities.

The 2016 Laureates were inducted into the Hall of Fame last month. They are:


Philip Burdon

Philip Burdon co-founded Meadow Mushrooms which employs more than 500 staff in Canterbury and is one of the largest and most successful agri-businesses in New Zealand.  Philip has held a wide range of governance roles, was a Cabinet Minister for six years and created the Asia New Zealand Foundation with Don McKinnon in 1994. He is a generous supporter of the Arts.


Sir Rob Fenwick

Sir Rob Fenwick is a passionate environmental entrepreneur. His business ventures include organic waste processor Living Earth, bottled water brand NZ Natural and Te Matuku Bay Oysters. Rob has held governance roles with many organisations including Landcare Research, TVNZ, St John, Antarctica NZ, NZBCSD and Ngati Whatua Orakei and was a finalist in this year’s New Zealander of the Year Awards.


Noel Holyoake

Noel Holyoake is a pioneer of New Zealand’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. Holyoake Industries is the largest manufacturer of air distribution equipment in the Asia-Pacific region, and employs more than 350 people in New Zealand and Australia. A proud Rotarian, Noel established Rotary's Trees for Survival Project which has planted almost two million trees since its inception.


Sir Peter Jackson

Sir Peter Jackson is an award-winning filmmaker who has changed the New Zealand film industry and its’ reputation across the globe. Sir Peter co-owns a full suite of studio production facilities in Wellington, enabling filmmakers to make films in New Zealand to an international standard. He actively encourages young filmmakers and supports many organisations throughout Wellington, New Zealand and internationally.


Malcolm McConnell

Malcolm McConnell was an innovative pioneer of New Zealand’s modern engineering industry. He co-founded McDonnell Dowell in 1960 and led the company’s expansion throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. He helped create the Engineering Export Association of New Zealand and was also a director of New Zealand Railways Corporation, the DFC and NZ Steel. He passed away in 1995.


Bruce Plested

Bruce Plested founded Mainfreight in 1978 and has seen the company grow to become the global logistics provider it is today, with over 6,400 employees in 243 branches across New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Bruce and Mainfreight are long-time supporters of Duffy Books in Homes, The Life Education Trust and Bairds Mainfreight Primary School.


Ward Reid

George Chapman Ward Reid is widely acknowledged as the founder of New Zealand’s rubber industry. Ward launched his business in 1933 and his rubber products revolutionised New Zealand’s dairy industry. The company expanded its product range to include everything from hot water bottles to car tyres. Ward was President of the Penrose Industrial Progress Association and the Auckland Manufacturers Council.


Sir John Roberts

Sir John Roberts was born in Scotland and moved to Otago in 1868 to establish a stock and station business. He was a proud supporter of the Otago business community and helped launch New Zealand’s frozen meat trade. Sir John held a number of public roles, including Mayor of Dunedin and Vice-Chancellor of Otago University. He was knighted in 1891.


There were around 450 attendees this year and it was a great way for us to connect some of today’s business leaders with our young enterprise students. Malcolm McConnell’s widow Beverley was the star of the show, entertaining the audience with her stories of Malcolm. The evening finished with a speech from Young Enterprise Student Ambassador Dylan Rogan.


You can watch the inductions and interviews with the Laureates on the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame website.