Albert Wendt, Emeritus Professor at the University of Auckland and author of fiction and poetry, received a top honour being named a member of the elite Order of New Zealand in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list announced on 3 June. His acclaimed first novel Sons for the Return Home was published in 1973 and many other books have followed over the decades including Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree, Leaves of the Banyan Tree, to the more recent titles Adventures of Vela and the short story collection Ancestry.
New Zealand Book Council chair, Peter Biggs, was made a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for services to arts governance and philanthropy. Biggs divides his time between Melbourne where he heads advertising agency Clemenger BBDO, and New Zealand. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Growth and Innovation Advisory Board, is a former chair of Creative NZ, and on a number of other boards. He is a sought-after speaker on branding, marketing, creativity and leadership.
Craig Potton, the Nelson-based photographer and publisher, becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to photography and conservation. Craig founded the eponymous Nelson-based publishing company which is renowned for its books of photography among other things.
PANZ President Kevin Chapman said that it is very important that our cultural icons be recognised. “Albert Wendt is a towering figure in our literature, Peter Biggs’ many voluntary efforts in the arts included being an important part of our GOH planning, and although Craig Potton is honoured for his photography and conservation work, his publishing is an important part of that. Our industry should be proud of all of them.”
Above image: Albert Wendt