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New Year Honours 2016

Beyond the well-flagged honours for various retiring All Blacks, a smattering of gongs went to screen industry types in the New Year’s Honours list.

Top of the list was Jane Campion, now a Dame or Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to give the honour its full mouthful.

The citation noted Campion’s work “has been defined by compelling depictions of the lives of women outside of society’s mainstream”.

In addition to her work as a writer and director, Campion is a member of the government’s screen advisory board also including James Cameron, Peter Jackson and Jon Landau. She also initiated the CineFem scholarship to help create more opportunities for women in the industry.

Mr Henare Whitu Kingi and John McBeth were both named Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit: Kingi for services to Māori and broadcasting, McBeth for services as a broadcaster. Radio broadcaster Bill Francis was also named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Not industry-specific but with a good foot in the door, Southern Institute of Technology’s CE Penny Simmonds was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. SIT has been very proactive in developing internship opportunities for students on productions shooting in the South Island, including the recent Disney remake of Pete’s Dragon.

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