Sports stars and administrators honoured

Sport and Recreation

The King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023 includes sporting stars and administrators who reflect the best of New Zealand’s sporting community.

Sir Wayne Smith has been knighted for services to rugby. Sir Wayne was Assistant Coach of the All Blacks at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups and Head Coach of the Black Ferns at the 2022 Rugby World Cup.

“Sir Wayne’s commitment and passion for the game has shone through in the range of roles he has taken on. He took over coaching the Black Ferns six months before the World Cup, and helped them to their sixth title. ‘The Professor’ is a ground breaking coach and mentor and thoroughly deserves this accolade,” Grant Robertson said.

The co-captains of the Black Ferns have also been honoured, with both Ruahei Demant and Kennedy Simon appointed as Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

“Both Ruahei and Kennedy are outstanding sportspeople and leaders, guiding their team to victory at the World Cup and also helping to promote women’s sport in Aotearoa.”

Michelle Hooper has also been appointed as an  MNZM for sports administration – most recently as Tournament Director for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

In men’s rugby,  former All Black Captain Andy Leslie has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport and the community.

“Andy was captain of the All Blacks in the 1970s but also represented New Zealand in softball and water polo. He has been active as an administrator and local, regional and national level. He has also devoted much time and energy to community sport and is a life trustee of the Halberg Trust,” Grant Robertson said.

For her services to cricket, Amy Satterthwaite is appointed as an MNZM.

“Amy has had a long and distinguished cricket career, as a player, captain, mentor and coach. By retirement last season, she had played an amazing 145 ODIs and 111 T20Is, including 13 ODIs and 12 T20s as Captain.”

Also appointed as an MNZM for services to sport, Andrea Nelson has contributed to several significant sporting events in New Zealand for 20 years. These events include being the Chief Executive of the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and General Manager, New Zealand of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

For services to Special Olympics and the community Christine Richardson is appointed as an MNZM.

“Christine has volunteered with Special Olympics Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington for 14 years, currently holding roles as fundraiser, Treasurer and Tenpin Bowling Coordinator and previously as Chairperson from 2012 to 2020. She is a dedicated to the community working as a volunteer across many activities including fundraising, advocacy and logistics.

“There are a host of others who have contributed to sport and recreation who are acknowledged in this Honours List.

“Congratulations to all those who have been honoured. It is a recognition of excellence and service that is thoroughly deserved,” Grant Robertson said.