Business leader honoured
1 October, 2014
Business leader honoured
One of New Zealand’s leading businessmen is to receive the University of Waikato’s most prestigious award of Honorary Doctorate.
Sir Dryden Thomas
Spring will receive his Honorary Doctorate at the University
graduation ceremony on 22 October.
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the honour is in recognition of Sir Dryden’s substantial contribution to the regional and national economy.
“Sir Dryden is a remarkable man who has worked for and with many of New Zealand’s most important organisations. He continues to work hard for his community and has proved himself a worthy recipient of the title of Honorary Doctor at the University of Waikato.”
Sir Dryden was born in the Taranaki town of Waitara and bought his first farm at Walton, in the heart of the Waikato.
By then, he had already been elected as President of the New Zealand Sharemilkers Association and in 1972 he became President of Waikato Federated Farmers. The following year, at the age of 33, he was elected as a director of the New Zealand Dairy Group.
Also in 1973 Sir Dryden was chosen as New Zealand’s Outstanding Young Man of the Year by New Zealand Jaycees.
He served as Chairman
of the New Zealand Co-operative Dairy Company and then the
Zealand Dairy Board for the better part of 20 years, leading major industry reform and building international relations.
He received the New Zealand commemoration
Medal in 1990, was made a member of the APEC Eminent
Persons' Group in 1993 and in 1994 he was Knighted for
services to the dairy industry.
Sir Dryden has also served as Chairman of the ANZ National Bank from 2007 until last year and has been a director of companies including Nufarm, Maersk NZ Ltd, Affco, Fletcher Building, Sky City, National Bank, Port of Tauranga Ltd and Northport.
been Chairman of Ericcson NZ and Tenon Ltd and Deputy
Chairman of Goodman Fielder, Ports of Auckland and The Rural
Banking and Finance Corporation of New Zealand.
Sir Dryden served on the APEC Business Advisory Council from 2000 to 2010 and is a Laureate of the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, a Life Member of Waikato Federated Farmers and a Distinguished Fellow of Massey University Academy of Agriculture.
In 2000 Sir Dryden was awarded a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Massey University and the Holden Lifetime Achievement Award for service to the Dairy Industry in 2003. He has also been made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
Beyond his business interests, Sir Dryden has also been active with a range of charitable and community organisations. He and his wife Margaret have a special interest in the Pohlen Hospital, a community hospital in their home town of Matamata, where they donate both time and money.