Massey staff, alumni receive New Year’s Honours


Ms Cowley on Massey University's Manwatū campus in 2002


Two Massey staff members and 11 Massey alumni have received New Year’s Honours.

Highly successful author and Massey Honorary Doctor of Literature recipient Joy Cowley received New Zealand’s highest honour, having been the only person be made a Member of the Order of New Zealand on this year’s list.

Ms Cowley, who has achieved international renown for her books for children, was awarded her Honorary Doctorate in 1993. She has written more than 1000 books, but is best known for her children’s fiction, which includes the books The Silent One (1981), Bow Down Shadrach (1991) and its sequel Gladly, Here I Come (1994).

She is a patron and former trustee of the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust and has been the recipient of numerous national and international literary awards, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in fiction in 2010 and the University of Alabama’s Maryann Manning Award for Outstanding Literacy Scholar in 2011.

From left: Ms Legat and Ms Goldblatt


Massey University Press inaugural publisher Nicola Legat was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the publishing industry. She has overseen the publication of 32 books since her appointment to the role in 2015.

As well as being the former publishing director of Random House New Zealand, Ms Legat is chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Charitable Trust and deputy chair of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Trust. She was previously a council member of the Publishers Association of New Zealand. 

Former director of the Massey University Dispute Resolution Centre Virginia Goldblatt (Graduate Diploma Business Studies 1996) was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to arbitration and mediation. Ms Goldblatt was instrumental in the establishment of the centre and was director from 2007 to 2012, during which time she oversaw the establishment of a joint venture between Massey University and the New Zealand Law Society to develop and deliver mediation education for lawyers.

Ms Goldblatt has been an independent mediator since 1994, practicing primarily in the employment, organisational, health and education areas. She was a senior lecturer in English at Massey from 1978 to 1998 and senior lecturer in dispute resolution from 1998 to 2013. She is currently a member of Massey's human resources team, leading the University’s internal mediation service.

Dr Palatasa Havea, who completed his PhD in technology at Massey University in 1999, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community and the dairy industry.

Dr Havea currently serves as chair of the Health Research Council Pacific Committee, having been a member since 2013. He established the Pacific Category in the annual Manawatū Science Fair in 2015 to attract Pacific children to the sciences and technology and has served on the Massey University Pacific Advisory Committee.

He was the recipient of a New Zealand Government scholarship, which saw him leave his native Tonga to commence study as an international student at Massey University in 1991.

Other Massey recipients of Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit are Rob Jager, of New Plymouth, (Master of Business Administration 1996) for services to business and health and safety; Penny Mudford, of Wellington, (Graduate Diploma Business Studies 2000) for services to arbitration and the primary industries sector; and Julia Morison, of Christchurch, (Diploma Graphic Design 1972) for services to visual arts.

A further four Massey alumni are recipients of Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit: Allan Cook, of Marton, (Graduate Diploma Business Studies 1999) for services to river and drainage engineering; Melanie Donne, of Whanganui, (Bachelor of Education 1990) for services to training disability assistance dogs; Donna Matahaere-Atariki, of Dunedin, (Master of Philosophy (Social Sciences and Education) 1997) for services to Māori and health; and Paul McArdle, of Havelock North, (Bachelor of Business Studies 1988) for services to cycling and the community.

Two alumni were awarded Queen's Service Medals: Filipo Lui of Lower Hutt, (Bachelor of Music (Performance) 2001) for services to the Tokelauan community and Thelma Luxton, of Waitara, (Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1987) for services to the community and cricket.

Related articles

New Year’s Honours for Massey staff and alumni

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey