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Hon Jim McLay receives Distinguished Alumni Award

25 February 2013

Hon Jim McLay receives Distinguished Alumni Award

The Honourable Jim McLay LLB 1968 CNZM QSO, a graduate of The University of Auckland’s Law School, receives one of six Distinguished Alumni Awards awarded by the University at a ceremony being held on 1 March.

The Rt Hon Paul East QC says that at an age and stage in life when many successful people take it easy, Jim McLay continues to work as hard as ever for his country.

“Not many are able to succeed in five different fields of endeavour. After establishing himself as a young lawyer, Jim entered politics culminating in his becoming Deputy Prime Minister, and then leader of the National Party. A successful business career followed. On the environmental front he led our anti-whaling efforts. Now, with his intellect and capacity for hard work, we are fortunate to have him represent our interests at the United Nations.”

Jim McLay is New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, and has held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Attorney General and Minister of Justice throughout his career. The University is proud to honour him as a distinguished alumnus, and as one of New Zealand’s leading elder statesmen.

He returns to Auckland for the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner where he, along with the other award winners, will address a 450-strong audience of leading community figures, politicians, business professionals and academics. He will participate in The University’s “Auckland Live! 20/20 Vision” event on Thursday 28 February (6-8pm, AMRF Auditorium, Park Road, Grafton Campus), sharing some of the insights that have contributed to his success as a leader and statesman.

Born in Devonport, Jim was educated at King’s College, and graduated from The University of Auckland with a Law degree in 1968. He practised as a barrister before being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1975, and embarking on a highly successful parliamentary career.

He received the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for public services in 1987 and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to conservation in 2003. The United States Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names and the New Zealand Geographic Board named an Antarctic glacier “McLay Glacier” in recognition of his IWC work.

Jim also advised the government on reviews of the wholesale electricity market, defence funding and financial management, accident compensation, and reform of road funding and management.

After his retirement from politics in 1987 he was, for 17 years, Executive Chairman of Macquarie New Zealand and chaired several other companies. His was New Zealand Commissioner on the International Whaling Commission, and a member of the US Humane Society’s International Council of Advisers.

Continuing an ongoing relationship with the Auckland Law School, Jim McLay will host an event at the New Zealand Mission to the United Nations in New York for Auckland law school alumni on 22 April. He will also return to New Zealand later in the year and deliver a lecture for students at the Faculty of Law.


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