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Business and public service recognised at graduation

Media Release

6 April 2018

Business and public service recognised at graduation

The founder of high-profile vodka brand 42 Below, and two long-standing leaders in public service will be given honorary doctorates at next week’s Lincoln University graduation.

Entrepreneur Geoff Ross, former Environment Canterbury Chair Dame Margaret Bazley, and former Lincoln Chancellor and current Environment Canterbury councillor, Tom Lambie, will be recognised at the ceremony on April 13, at the Lincoln Event Centre.

Mr Ross will receive his honorary doctorate in commerce, while Dame Margaret and Mr Lambie will receive degrees in natural resources.

Mr Ross is the CEO of the Moa Brewing Company, now New Zealand’s largest locally owned brewer, and a director of Trilogy, an NZX listed company focused on the skincare, home fragrance and body care market.

He launched 42 Below Vodka in 1998, first producing it in his garage. 42 Below was judged New Zealand's fastest growing exporter, fastest growing listed company and fastest growing company overall in the Deloitte Unlimited Fast 50, 2005.

He is a trustee of Pure Advantage, an organisation that champions green growth in New Zealand, serving with Sir Stephen Tindall, Rob Morrison and Phillip Mills. He is also a trustee of the Melanoma Foundation and The Endangered Species Foundation.

Dame Margaret Bazley has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service.

In 2010, she became a commissioner and Chair of Environment Canterbury, stepping down in 2016. Her role involved overseeing the implementation of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy.

She has held a wide range of senior management, leadership and governance roles over a period of more than 50 years.

A registered nurse and psychiatric nurse, she served as Director of Nursing for the Department of Health from 1978 to 1984. She was appointed State Services Commissioner and played a major role in forming the State Owned Enterprises, as well as developing the State Sector Act.

From 1987-88, she was deputy chairperson of the State Services Commission, after which she worked as Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, then Director-General of the Department of Social Welfare.

In retirement she has held various positions, including Member of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct, the Review of Legal Aid, a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, Chairperson of the Foundation of Research, Science and Technology, and Chairperson of the New Zealand Fire Service.

Made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999, she was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Medal in 2011, and was made an additional member of the Order of New Zealand in 2012.

Mr Lambie served on the Lincoln University Council for 14 years from 2002. He was Chancellor for 11 of those, retiring from the role in 2016, but this did not mean he severed his ties with the University- he is patron of the Alumni Association and of the Lincoln University Rugby Club.

An Environment Canterbury commissioner from 2010-2016, and now serving as an appointed councillor, he has a long history of leadership. Federated Farmers National Vice-President from 1996 to 2002, and National President from 2002 to 2005, he also represented New Zealand on the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, becoming the Federation’s Vice-President in 2004.

From 2002 he also sat on the Board of the Trade Liberalisation Network.

In 2014 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agriculture and in 2016 was awarded the Lincoln University Ngāti Moki Trophy for Māori Leadership.


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