2014 Augusta Awards

2014 Augusta Awards

What are the Augusta Awards?

In 2007 the Augusta Award was introduced to replace the Old Boy of the Year Award. The new award allows the School to honour up to four Old Boys annually. Those Old Boys so honoured are outstanding achievers who have made a significant contribution to or demonstrated leadership in their profession, their community, New Zealand or the world.

The categories are: Academia, Arts, Business, Service and Sport

The names of these most distinguished Old Boys are inscribed on an Honours Board in the Heritage Room of the Library.  Their achievements serve as an enduring inspiration to all who attend Auckland Grammar School and are an extension of the School motto per augusta ad augusta

Nominations are called for annually, and a selection committee made up of members of the Old Boys’ and School Executive review the nominees and put forward the list.  The selection panel representing the Old Boys’ Association and the School consider the nominees in selecting the Augusta Award recipients. Members of the Grammar community are invited to submit names and details of Old Boys whom they deem worthy of such an award.

2014 AGSOBA Annual Dinner and Augusta Awards

AGSOBA gold seal2

View photos from the 2014 event on the AGSOBA Facebook page 

2014 Augusta Awardees

NIGEL T EVANS ’53 ONZM - Service

Nigel Evans photo 2014

Dr Nigel Evans’s name at Grammar is well known, having served as a past President of the AGSOBA and recognised with Honorary Life Membership. Nigel currently serves on the Headmaster’s Council. While at Grammar, Nigel was a Prefect, 1st XI Cricket and awarded the Rope Cup and Torch of Tradition. Sons David ’83, Richard ’85 and John ’90 all also attended the school. Dr Evans obtained a doctorate in physics at the University of Cambridge and then returned to New Zealand in 1968 to work with Mr Woolf Fisher and apply his analytical skills to managing and developing technology at the newly established company, New Zealand Steel. As Secretary of the Woolf Fisher Trust, Nigel has the privilege of reviewing and awarding fellowships and scholarships. He also served as a director of Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and in 2013, received a Queen’s Honour for services to education and the steel industry. Noted by a colleague as “a leader wherever he is”, Dr Evans has throughout his career taken on new challenges and made significant contributions to both business and society.


Chris Mace photo 2

Chris Mace is an Auckland-based company director whose work experience covers a range of sectors, starting initially with construction. These activities led to expanded roles in retailing at LD Nathan Limited and beverage manufacturing at Lion Nathan Limited, where he was both a principal and director. Chris is a director of the publiclylisted Heartland New Zealand Limited (parent company of Heartland Bank) and continues as a director and investor in a number of companies with interests in private equity and banking. He was a director of NZ Rail during the restructuring phase, undertook the establishment of, and chaired, the Crown Research Institute ESR and the NZ Antarctic Institute, Antarctica NZ. He was a founding trustee of the Sir Peter Blake Trust and continues as a trustee of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. He works closely with the tertiary sector, with a particular focus on marine science and research and chaired a support group for the

redevelopment of the Marine Science Campus for the University of Auckland at Leigh. In 2004 Chris was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Antarctica and the community and in 2012 was awarded the Maori Businessman of the Year. He is presently chairman of the Crown Research Institute ’The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited’ (NIWA) and is a Commissioner for the Tertiary Education Commission. Chris attended Grammar from 1957–59 and is presently a member of the Headmaster’s Council and a Trustee of the Foundation Trust Board. His brother David ’54 and son James ’89 are also Old Boys.


John Barnett photo 2014

As New Zealand’s leading television and film producer, John Barnett cares about telling a good story. “I began an entrepreneurial career, setting up businesses in marketing and media, and this led to a management company looking after local talent including John Clarke (Fred Dagg). I’d also been exposed to TV production with a group of talented production people. I was hooked!” Over the past 40 years John has produced television drama, documentaries and feature films. ’Whale Rider’, ’Sione’s Wedding’, ’Shortland Street’, ’Outrageous Fortune’, ’NZ Idol’ and ’New Zealand’s Got Talent’ are among the small and big screen achievements. As Chairman of South Pacific Pictures, he says: “We’ve made our reputation from telling New Zealand stories to New Zealanders and to world audiences. That is where our future lies.” He has twice served on the board of the NZ Film Commission, and remains a frequent commentator on developments in NZ film and television. John has also been involved in media distribution, and in the development of local multiplex cinemas, plus cable channel Sundance (now the Rialto Channel). In 2002 John received the SPADA/Onfilm Industry Champion award and in the following year was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He has also been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Commerce at Victoria University for his contribution to New Zealand film and television.


Peter Mcnaughton

Peter McNaughton is Professor of Pharmacology and a member of the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Research at King’s College London. His research is on sensory systems: How we detect the world around us and how we know about our body’s internal state. Professor McNaughton is dedicated to translating the research and discoveries made in his lab into practical benefits for people in pain. His research is currently entering a new field – control of

body temperature. A Rhodes Scholar, Peter completed a PhD in Biology at Oxford after studying Physics at the University of Auckland. Since the mid-1970s he has pursued research in neuroscience, mainly in the cellular basis of sensations – vision, pain and magnetic sensation. He was Lecturer Physiology University of Cambridge (1978–91), Head of Department of Physiology, King’s College, London (1991–99) and University Sheild Professor of Pharmacology and Head of Department, Christ’s College, University of Cambridge from 1999. In 2011, Professor McNaughton was lead author of a groundbreaking study investigating the HCN2 gene, a gene responsible for chronic pain. McNaugton reflects on Grammar: “We were taught by a number of inspiring masters whose enthusiasm and commitment were key. I remember the faces and eccentricities of

many of my teachers, and the nicknames of many – Chrome Dome, Boney, Cave Man, Dud, Fred. Fred Orange was a truly inspirational teacher. A group of us recently got together to send him a thank you for teaching us many years ago – it arrived not that long before he died and he sent us a personal acknowledgement.” Peter and his wife Linda will travel from London for the Augusta Awards.


2013 Augusta Awardees

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Augusta Awards. Note: These profiles were compiled at the time the recipients received their recognition.

View photos from the event here:



Raoul Franklin4

Dr Raoul N Franklin’48 - Academia

One of the world’s leading researchers in plasma physics, Professor Franklin was a top scholar at Grammar, winning a number of prizes in 6A, including the Tibbs Memorial, Hayes Prize and Eric Astley Award.

After achieving undergraduate and graduate university degrees in New Zealand, he went on to Oxford University to complete MA, DPhil and DSc degrees.
He published his major work, ‘Plasma Phenomena in Gas Discharges,’ in 1976 and to this day publishes many papers of international significance.

A former Vice-Chancellor of The City University in London, form 1978 until his retirement 20 years later, Professor Franklin is still very active in the field of academia. He recently was Chairman of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), the largest examining body at the school and college level in the UK. In 1981, Professor Franklin was appointed Freeman of the City of London, for his contribution to higher education, he received a CBE in 1995 and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland in 2004.

Greer Twiss2

Greer Twiss ’52 - Arts

World-class sculptor Greer Twiss was one of the first artists in New Zealand to work in cast bronze and has since become of the country’s most prominent and respected artists and teachers.

Greer has exhibited internationally for over 50 years and his sculpture is included in major public and many private collections as well. He works in a number of media, including lead and sheet galvinised iron, but is best known for his tactile bronzes. Bronze casting had seldom been undertaken by artists when Greer began, and that necessitated setting up his own foundry.

He was made an ONZM for Sculpture in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2002 and received an Arts Foundation Icon Award in 2011. The Icon Awards are limited to a living circle of 20 stellar NZ artists and are the Arts Foundation’s highest honour.

Greer’s sons Toby ’82 and Jacob ’85 both attended Grammar; Toby is a bronze and ceramic sculptor and Jacob a pediatric specialist.

Alan Kirkness2

Professor Alan Comrie Kirkness ’54 - Academia

An internationally respected New Zealand German Scholar, Professor Alan Kirkness played a key role in the discovery of nine previously lost books by the Brothers Grimm. The hand-annotated volumes of the incomplete German dictionary had been missing since WW2.

Having been Dux of Grammar in 1958, Professor Kirkness graduated from the University of Auckland in 1962 with a 1st Class MA in German and French and went on to study at Universitat Zurich and then The Queens College, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.

Now Emeritus Professor of Applied Languages at the University of Auckland, Professor Kirkness’ research interests and publications focus on German, English and aspects of French lexicology. His recent work has largely concentrated on the lexicographers and storytellers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm and the development of their German Dictionary.

Professor Kirkness’ son Robert ’93 was Head Prefect and now works in France. 

2011 Augusta Award Winners

james mcneish

Sir James McNeish '44 - Arts

Sir James has had a varied career, from working on a Norwegian freighter in 1958 and recording folk music in 21 countries, to becoming the novelist, playwright and biographer that he is best known for.

Sir James worked in the Theatre Workshop in London before becoming a freelance programme and documentary maker for the BBC Radio programmes in the 1960s. During this time, he also wrote for The Guardian and The Observer. He then spent three years living in Sicily with Danilo Dolci, where he wrote ‘Fire Under the Ashes: A Life of Danilo Dolci’.

In 1973 he was the recipient of the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship to France, before becoming the writer in Residence at the Berlin Kuenstler Programme in 1983.

In 1986, his novel ‘Lovelock’ was nominated for the Booker Prize. In 1999 he was awarded the National Library of New Zealand Research Fellowship, which allowed him to research the lives of five prominent New Zealanders who attended Oxford University in the 1930s together; the book ‘Dance of the Peacocks’ 2003 included Old Boy DP Costello ‘23.

Sir James has written over 20 books and plays and been awarded numerous awards and recognition. In 2010 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literacy Achievement in non-fiction and later that year he received a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours list.

david baragwanath

Sir David Baragwanath '54 - Service

Sir David Baragwanath will be shortly taking up residence in The Hague, to where he was appointed in 2010 a member of the Appeal Chamber of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Sir David finished Grammar as Head Prefect in 1958, having been awarded a University Entrance Scholarship. He was then awarded the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1964 and graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law from Balliol College, Oxford in 1966. Between 1966 and 1977 he was a partner at Meredith Connell & Co, working alongside Barrie Connell (Old Boy of the Year 1982).

In 1983 Sir David was appointed Queen’s Counsel and in 1995 he was appointed High Court Judge before in 2008 being appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal. During his time as a High Court Judge, he was the second longest serving High Court Judge based at the Auckland High Court. Sir David not only presided for New Zealand but also in the Court of Appeal in Samoa. Between 1996 and 2001, Sir David was the President of the Law Commission.

In early 2010 Sir David was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Law, joining the Editorial Advisory Board to the Waikato Law Review, being a judge in residence for a week during 2010 and delivering guest lectures as frequently as his busy schedule permitted. He was awarded Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2010 New Year Honours List.

bruce plested

Bruce Plested '55 - Business

Bruce Plested left school he went on to Teachers Training College, where he graduated at 18. Bruce then went to work for Fisher & Paykel, where he had the opportunity to study accounting.

Bruce became fascinated with F&P’s management style and the way they did business. When in 1966 US-based Champion Spark Plugs asked F&P to set them up in business here, Bruce got his break and worked there for the following four years. After completing his ACA, as well as holding down a couple of night and weekend jobs to support his young family, he took a better paying job at Container Freights. After seven years, he left that job but he had become fascinated with the freight business.

In 1978 Mainfreight was born with $2700 and a 1969 Bedford truck. After the deregulation of the transport industry in 1983, Mainfreight was quick to seize the opportunity and expanded to open branches throughout the country. After purchasing Mogal, Mainfreight International was formed. Now Mainfreight International operates in Asia, USA, Australia and Europe.

In 2007, Mainfreight won the ‘Best Growth Strategy’ Award from Colliers International and in 2008 won the Beacon Award from the Shareholders’ Association. Bruce is also Chairman for the ‘Duffy Books in Homes’ Charitable Foundation, which provides five new books to participating students, with the aim of developing better education and a love of reading in children.

In 2011 the programme included almost 550 schools, over 100,000 students and 206 sponsors, which is a huge increase from when it began in in 1992, launching to 80 schools and 16,000 students. One of the main sponsors for this programme is Mainfreight.

Bruce has also been known to open his home and property to host several charity events, including a Hospice Garden Party, the Jassy Dean Garden Safari and a wine and food evening to raise funds for Waiheke High School viticulture students.

andrew simester

Andrew Simester '80 - Academia

Andrew is one of our youngest Old Boys to receive the Augusta Award. Andrew attended Auckland Grammar School from 1980–84, was Dux and achieved University Entrance Scholarship in 1983 (2nd on Honours Board) and 1984 (1st on Honours Board). He was awarded the New Zealand Herald Scholar of the Year award in 1984.

Andrew went on to study Law at The University of Auckland and then to Oxford for his doctorate. Andrew taught at the universities of Cambridge, Birmingham and Nottingham, where he was the youngest Law Professor in the UK.

In 2006 he joined the National University of Singapore as Chair in Law. In 2007 he was elected to the Fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge in recognition of his work with criminal law and theory.

He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Criminology. Andrew has written several books on Criminal Law and Legal Theory, which include Criminal Law: Theory and Doctrine (with GR Sullivan: 2000, 2003); and Principles of Criminal Law (with WJ Brookbanks: 1998, 2002, 2007); as well as four edited collections, including most recently Appraising Strict Liability (2005) and Incivilities: Regulating Offensive Behaviour (with A von Hirsch: 2006). One of his books is the leading text on New Zealand criminal law.

2010 Augusta Award Winners

victor percival

Victor Percival ONZM ‘43 - Business

Victor Percival ONZM, JP, or Pan Xi Fu (Western Bhudda) as the Chinese named him, forged enduring trade and cultural relationships in China starting in the mid-50s, despite lukewarm support from the New Zealand government and government agencies reluctant to have any dealings with communists.

Due to his tireless work to improve trade relations between the two countries, Victor was a founding member of the New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA) in 1981 and was twice made Chairman and finally Honorary Life Member.

When Victor accompanied the NZCTA-led delegation to the 100th Canton (now Guangzhou) Fair in 2006, he was the sole foreigner to have attended one of the first Canton Fairs in 1957, earning him an award from Premier Wen and the honour to be the only non-Chinese speaker at the Grand Opening Ceremony.

Victor was truly a pioneer in opening a market which was then at best unfashionable, but which is now crucial as evidenced by the current Free Trade Agreement. Over the years he advised and mentored Government officials and China traders alike.

At the ceremony for the signing of the world’s first country-to-country Free Trade Agreement with China, then Prime Minister Helen Clark referred to Victor Percival as: “The man who started it all”.

In 2008 Victor was created an Officer of the Order of New Zealand of Merit, in the same year that his biography ‘Kiwi Pathfinder’ was published. Victor died 24 July 2010 aged 82.

howard harper

Howard Harper ‘44 - Service

Howard Harper was at Grammar only briefly, leaving at the end of Form 4 in 1945 to search for employment. Initially an Auckland menswear store assistant, he went on to Bible College aged 17 and then to Pakistan as a missionary aged 20.

Whilst in Central Asia, Howard saw a desperate need for eye surgeons. In 1950, he went to London and become a qualified doctor and ophthalmologist, and subsequently a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Howard returned to Pakistan to run a number of eye clinics, combined with his missionary work. In the mid-60s Howard established a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan as well as a Christian Church. Forced out of Afghanistan in the late 70’s, and then Iran in 1980 by occupying forces, Howard returned to England and established a private eye surgery practice while establishing Vision International to continue his work in Asia..

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 gave Howard the opportunity to establish medical facilities in the former states of the USSR; and through personal international fundraising, established hospitals in Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

Despite recent ill health, Howard continues his passion for medical and missionary work from his home aged 80, frequently visiting the hospitals and clinics he has pioneered throughout Asia. He is one of New Zealand’s greatest humanitarians, and yet one of our most unknown.

Professor Cedric Hassal

Professor Cedric Hassall FRS, FRSC ‘33 - Academia

Professor Cedric Hassall FRS, FRSC is an internationally renowned biochemist. An alumnus of Auckland Grammar School ’33 and of The University of Auckland, he taught at Grammar from 1940-1944. Now in his tenth decade, his professional appointments and scientific achievements are too numerous to acknowledge in their entirety.

In 1985 Cedric was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (one of eight Fellows this School has produced from 1949-2006) and he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Cedric’s long career has encompassed academic institutions in many countries: New Zealand, UK, USA, West Indies, India, China and the Middle East. He has held professorships at a number of universities, been a visiting scholar, given guest lectures and inaugurated research programmes. From 1971-1984, Cedric was Director of Research for Roche Products Ltd, during which time he designed the widely used blood pressure medication Inhibace.

Cedric and his wife Dr June Hassall spend each year between their homes in Bedfordshire and Whitianga. Professor Hassall has made a remarkable and enduring contribution to the lives of his fellow citizens.

2009 Augusta Award Winners

Duncan McMullin

The Right Honourable Sir Duncan McMullin ‘40 - Service

The Right Honourable Sir Duncan McMullin had a most distinguished career in Law. After graduating from Auckland University College in 1950, he practised as a barrister and solicitor. He served some years as a judge of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

In 1975 he began his work as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion. He was ably assisted by his former Latin teacher and retired Headmaster of Auckland Grammar School, Henry Cooper, who served as the commission’s secretary. The commission’s report, issued in 1977, given its controversial subject, was equally controversial. McMullin and Cooper played a most important role in addressing three of New Zealand’s serious moral issues.

Sir Duncan was involved in a number of initiatives and held several important appointments. Among others, he was Chairman of the Wanganui Computer Centre Policy Committee, Chairman of the New Zealand Conservation Authority, Chairman of the Market Surveillance Committee, New Zealand Electricity Market, and judge of the Court of Appeal for Fiji and the Cook Islands. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1980 and became a Knight Bachelor in 1987.

Max Gimblett

Max Gimblett ’50 - Arts

Max Gimblett is an intentionally renowned artist. He contributed to the development of New Zealand painting through the exhibition of early abstractions. His much-admired quatrefoil-shaped paintings, which emerged in the early 1980s, now feature in most public collections in New Zealand. His work was included in the Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, January–April 2009; the biggest exhibition ever to be staged at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on American Art and the East.

Max has been based in New York since 1972, still works at least five days a week and teaches classes whenever he can. Keeping ties with New Zealand and the Kiwi art community, he has presented solo exhibitions at the Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland and the Page Blackie Gallery in Wellington, both in May 2009; as well as being the inaugural Visiting Professor of Art of the National Institute for the Creative Arts and Industries at the University of Auckland.

Unfortunately he was unable to accept his Augusta Award in person at the OBA Annual Dinner in November 2009 so Max delivered his acceptance speech by video and then hosted a sumi ink workshop at Auckland Grammar School on 11 March 2010. Charta Books, Milan, will publish ‘Max Gimblett: Workspace’ with photographs by John Savage, essay by Jenni Quilter, in 2010.

Denis Feeney

Denis Feeney ’68 - Academia

After graduating from the University of Auckland MA Latin (1st) 1975, MA Greek (1st) 1976, Denis Feeney’s destiny lay beyond our shores. His dissertation for DPhil Oxford was supervised by the renowned Professor Nisbet, Professor of Latin, Corpus Christi College.

From 1978-1990 Dr Feeney lectured at Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Edinburgh and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He held the chairs of Latin at Bristol 1990-92 and at Wisconsin 1993-96.

After a four-year term as a Fellow and Tutor at New College Oxford, Professor Feeney took up his current position in 2000. He is Professor of Classics and Giger Professor of Latin, Princeton University and is a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Professor Feeney has won international acclaim in his area of specialisation for his lectures, articles and his three major works: ‘The Gods in Epic’, ‘Literature and Religion at Rome’ and ‘Caesar's Calendar’. His teaching is in the area of Latin poetry in particular, and his publications have addressed the interaction between Roman literature and religion.

Professor Feeney belongs to an exceptional group of Grammarians who have made an enduring contribution in the field of Classical scholarship, both in research and in teaching.

2008 Augusta Award Winners

Patrick Eisdell Moore2

Sir Patrick Eisdell Moore ’30 - Service - Surgeon, Medical Researcher

Sir Patrick has shown himself as a true visionary, humanist and leader. An eminent Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon, he has pioneered and driven research into treatment of middle ear disease.

In the early 1960s, he developed eardrum transplants to treat middle ear disease and established the Deafness Research Foundation, which has contributed to much of the deafness research in New Zealand, particularly at the Universities of Auckland and Otago.

Sir Patrick also lectured at the Auckland School of Medicine and sat on the Council of The University of Auckland.

He introduced mobile ear clinics (caravans to treat ear disease in children, especially in rural centres); he led the introduction of cochlear implants as a treatment for deaf people to New Zealand by raising the funds for the first implants in the mid-1980s, and then helped establish the New Zealand cochlear implant programme. More recently, Sir Patrick helped establish the Hearing House, a private charitable trust that provides habilitative and educational support for profoundly deaf children with implants, and he is also a founding member of the Board of the National Foundation for the Deaf.

Mark Warner2

Mark Warner ’65 - Adacemia

Professor Warner has been described as ‘one of New Zealand’s most distinguished scientists living abroad’. After a dazzling career at Grammar where he was Head Prefect and an outstanding scholar in the centennial year, he was awarded a Girdlers Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Mark Warner was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge and is very much involved with the Cavendish Laboratory. He recently won a research professorship, which frees him from teaching and administration for a number of years.

Mark is recognised as one of the world’s leading physicists in the field of soft condensed matter and has developed the definitive theories on liquid crystal elastomers.

For his work, he has received a number of international awards, among which have been the Maxwell Medal and Prize, a von Humboldt Research Prize and, most prestigious of all, the Europhysics Prize of the European Physical Societies.

Gus Fisher2

Gus Fisher ’35 ONZM - Arts, Business - 1920-2010 Businessman, Philanthropist

Fashion, family and philanthropy have been driving forces in Gus Fisher’s life. In the second half of the 20th century, Fisher was a household name in business circles. Gus, like his two older brothers Woolf and Lou, was a pioneer in his particular field of enterprise, which was textiles and fashion.

In recent times, Gus has been better known for the Gus Fisher Gallery at The University of Auckland, which he funded.

His generosity and family history also led to the creation of a postdoctoral fellowship in 2004, specialising in neurodegenerative diseases and the quest for a cure for Parkinson’s disease. The Gus Fisher Post Doctoral Fellowship is awarded every two years, with the aim of creating something positive to help people who suffer from the disease, or may do so in the future.

In 2005, Gus received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from The University of Auckland for his contribution to the development of academic programmes, research and infrastructure at the university, and for playing a key role in establishing the Kenneth Myers Centre, home to the Gus Fisher Gallery and the School of Creative and Performing Arts.

2007 Augusta Award Winners

Peter Stuart Watson2

The Hon. Peter Stuart Watson ’66 - Service

  • LLB University of Auckland LLM and doctoral degrees in International Economic Relations from McGill University
  • Only New Zealander to have held senior leadership positions in the United States government: National Security Council’s director of Asian affairs; chairman of the US International Trade Commission; chairman of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Currently President and CEO of the Dwight Group, supporting global transactions
  • Visiting Professor at St Peter’s College, Oxford
  • Distinguished Lecturer, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
  • Co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Senior International Appointments Committee
  • Former chairman of the State Bar of California’s International Practice Committee
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Author of several articles and books on international business and trade law
  • Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit 2002 for service to New Zealand and the International community
  • Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars Award for Public Service 2006
  • Auckland University Distinguished Alumni Award 2007
Peter John Hunter2

Professor Peter John Hunter ’62 - Academia

  • University Entrance Scholar 1966
  • Tertiary Education at Auckland and Oxford
  • Research fellow at Oxford
  • Lecturer and professor in Engineering Science at Auckland since 1978
  • Adjunct Professor at McGill University 1990
  • Awarded a personal chair by the University of Auckland 1997
  • Royal Society of NZ James Cook Fellowship 1999
  • Director of the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland 2001–
  • Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering 2001
  • World Council of Biomechanics 2002
  • Appointed visiting Professor for 5 years in Computational Biology at Oxford 2003
  • Fellow of the Royal Society London 2006

Before 2007 the award was known as the Old Boy of the Year.

2006 Old Boy of the Year


Professor Sir Graham Liggins ’39 - 1939-2010

The superlatives flowed when Emeritus Professor Sir Graham "Mont" Liggins was named the 2006 Old Boy of the Year. Described as an "intellectual hero", Sir Graham '39 officially received the award at the Association's Annual Dinner which was held at the Ellerslie Event Centre on 2 November and attended by 200 guests.

In introducing the guest of honour, Professor Peter Gluckman said Mont was arguably the greatest scientist New Zealand had ever produced. The world-renowned medical scientist, who turned 80 this year, had received numerous fellowships, doctorates, awards and medals. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1980 and was knighted in 1991.

Credited with saving hundreds of thousands of premature babies born around the world, Sir Graham pioneered research and findings in the 1970s into premature labour and discovered the foetus, not the mother, triggered labour..

Professor Gluckman told the gathering of Old Boys that the last child born in the White House was born to John Kennedy in 1962. That baby died, he said, because it was born premature and its lungs could not work properly and the fate of nearly every baby born 6-8 weeks premature at that time was much the same.

'Then along came a somewhat amateur scientist from New Zealand who held the answer. Now babies as young as 18 weeks premature can be saved and that is all based on the work of Mont.'

Professor Gluckman said that even in today's modern science, Mont's work continued to resonate in ground-breaking research. He said that such was the impact and brilliance of Mont's work, the Liggins Institute was named after him.

In accepting the 2006 Old Boy of the Year Award, Sir Graham Liggins thanked the Old Boys' Association for the honour which he said ranked high on his list.

2005 Old Boy of the Year Award


Hamish Carter ’85

During 10 years of professional competition, triathlete Hamish Carter has proved that he is one of the world's best and we are delighted to name him Auckland Grammar Old Boy of the Year for 2005.

Now 34 years old, Hamish was at Grammar from 1985-1989, during which time he excelled at both steeplechase and rowing. In 1986 he won the Clements Cup Intermediate Steeplechase, in 1988 he won both the Maxwell Cronin Cup (Open Steeplechase) and Donald Lane Cup (1500 metres) and in 1989 he won the Maxwell Cronin Cup for the second time.

He was in our First Rowing XIII during 1988 and 1989 and was awarded colours in both harriers and rowing.

Although Hamish clearly was a standout athlete, he also performed well academically, coming first in his class as a 3rd former and 3rd in his class as a 6th former.

Since leaving Grammar, we are all well aware of his successes in the international sporting arena. Having won 25 professional triathlons and 12 World Cup races, he was ranked Number One triathlete in the world for four years (1997-2000). He has had two podium finishes at the World Championships, come 2nd at the Goodwill Games and has been a Commonwealth Games Medallist. But his crowning glory was undoubtedly his recent Gold medal-winning fame at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Through all this competition and fame, Hamish has remained modest and extremely hardworking, always remembering how difficult the road to Athens glory was. In the early days, he would set off to compete in races around the world with very limited resources, where prize money and sponsorship were small or non-existent. But sheer determination made up for this, and he was no stranger to spending nights on friend's couches or floors and enduring long bus rides across Europe or the US before major races.

Nowadays, despite a grueling training schedule, Hamish is always there for his friends and family. He lives in Auckland with his wife Marisa and their two children, 4-year old Austin and 18-month old Phoebe, as well as their now famous cat, CousCous. And when you talk with Hamish, it's still incredibly refreshing to see first hand the modest attitude to success that we Kiwis are famous for!

2004 Old Boy of the Year


His Excellency the Rt Hon Sir Kenneth Keith ’51 ONZ KBE QC

Sir Kenneth Keith  '51 was named Old Boy of the Year for 2004 at the annual Old Boys' Association Dinner at Eden Park. Sir Kenneth has more than 20 years experience at the very highest levels in several of the Courts in the Pacific and in 2003 was appointed to New Zealand's new highest court, the Supreme Court of New Zealand. For more than seven years he was a member of the New Zealand Court of Appeal (the highest New Zealand-based Court before the establishment of the Supreme Court) as well as a member of the Privy Council in London. He is considered New Zealand's pre-eminent international law expert with a strong interest and expertise in international humanitarian law.

After leaving Auckland Grammar School, he studied law at the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington and at Harvard Law School, qualifying for LLB and LLM degrees at Victoria and Harvard University. Sir Kenneth also holds an Honorary LLD degree from the University of Auckland, was a teaching member of the Law Faculty at Victoria University and was also visiting professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto in 1981/2.* source - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

In 1988 Sir Kenneth Keith was made a Knight of the British Empire (KBE) for service to law reform and legal education.

Sir Kenneth was introduced at the dinner by Sir Wilson Whineray. He recalled his many contemporaries, teachers and some interesting events from his years at the School. He went on to discuss aspects of the educational philosophies of both Mr Littlejohn and Mr Cooper and to endorse the teaching and learning process that has been the hallmark of Auckland Grammar School.

2003 Old Boy of the Year


Professor Sir Hugh Kawharu ’40 ONZ FRS (NZ) 1927-2006

Sir Hugh first remembers the feeling of well being that achievement brought in a race at Cornwall Park Primary School when he was perhaps six or seven. The ground was freshly mowed and the children were instructed to run to its end and back. He ran to the front and stayed there. He never forgot the encouragement given to a winner and the powerful feeling of internal satisfaction which motivated him to try hard again at the next competitive occasion. If his career is any guide, he has been running pretty hard ever since and often in the lead. Picked out by family members at a young age to be a leader, his surname was changed in memory of an eminent Ngati Whatua ancestor, his paternal great grandfather, Paora Kawharu.

That leadership, while foretold and perhaps a rather heavy burden for a young teenage boy, was also earned. He discovered at Grammar "where they didn't fuss over you," that life, especially academic life, was not always one of easy victories. For a variety of reasons, he skipped the last year of primary school and went straight to secondary school where he found himself ill prepared for the academic rigour of the Latin streams and the competition in such a large school. He perservered but found most of his happiness and success on the sports field. He followed his father (Wiremu Paora, '06) in winning the shooting cup (Campbell Vase) and benefitted from the coaching of Henry Cooper in cricket eventually ending up captain of the 1st XI. He also flourished on the rugby field making the 1st XV three years in a row like his father before him. He was also Senior Athletics Champion.

Sir Hugh confesses to feeling overwhelmed by the academic demands of the School at times but some of its habits of work and learning must have rubbed off, since he has had a distinguished academic career ever since. One of his teachers, Ernie Searle, Master in Charge of the Cadets, moved on to teach Geology at Auckland University, and Sir Hugh followed him to take his first degree in Geology and Physics, before studying the discipline he now professess, Anthropology, at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. A string of honours have followed his subsequent appointments to chairs in Anthropology at Massey and Auckland Universities, to the Waitangi Tribunal, the Royal Commission on the Courts, and the UN agencies FAO and UNESCO. He has been elected to an Honorary Fellowship of Exeter College, Oxford and to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of NZ. He received a knighthood in 1989 and the nation's highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, in 2002. In being so acknowledged he joins Grammar's other two ONZ's, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir James Fletcher.

Despite these many achievements his life-long ambition remains to contribute to the rehabilitation of Ngati Whatua following their loss of land in the Tamaki isthmus and the Kaipara.

Other Old Boys of the Year - (Bios to come)

Hillary, Sir Edmund Percival 2002 
Hayr, Kenneth William 2001
Hunt, Jonathan Lucas 2000
MacKinlay, Ian Donald 1999
Whineray, Sir Wilson James 1998
Carter, Sir Ronald Powell 1998
Gluckman, Peter David 1997
Bracewell, James George Stanley 1996
Schnackenberg, Thomas William 1995
Maiden, Sir Colin James 1994
Graham, David John 1993
Walls, Daniel Frank 1992
Kasper, Hugh Gregory 1991
Jones, Vaughan Frederick 1990
Wigglesworth, John Culyer 1989
Cashmore, Gilbert Noel 1989
Fox, Grant James 1988
Fletcher, Sir James Muir Cameron 1987
Nicholls, Charles Norman 1986
Cooper, Sir William Henry 1985
Whetton, Alan James 1984
Whetton, Gary William 1984
Howarth, Geoffrey Philip 1983 
Connell, Barrie Frederick 1982
Chadwick, Ronald Ian 1981