Running great John Walker knighted

That honour also goes to musician and composer Carl Doy, who has been musical director of Dancing with the Stars since 2005, while hip hop star Che Fu is made an MNZM.

Wellington anaesthetist Dr Graham Sharpe is made an ONZM. He is best remembered outside medical circles for laying a complaint with police in 2002 over then prime minister Helen Clark signing an artwork she did not paint. The painting fetched $1000 for charity, police established a prima facie case for forgery but said it was not in the public interest to prosecute.

Another man to make national news headlines, Norm Withers, is made an MNZM for services to sport and the community. The New Zealand boxing official and Christchurch deputy mayor organised a petition for tougher penalties for violent crimes after his 71-year-old mother was brutally bashed, and that led to a referendum in the 1999 election which prompted law changes.

Perhaps the most surprising name on the honours list is that of iconic Christchurch soap-box speaker Ian Brackenbury Channell, aka the Wizard of New Zealand, awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

His citation describes him as a "designer of post-modern cosmology and wizardry, including casting spells for the Canterbury rugby team and performing rain dances in Waimate, Auckland and Outback Australia".

The Queen's Birthday honours list announced today:

THE NEW ZEALAND ORDER OF MERIT

KNZM ( Knight Companion of the Order):

John George Walker CBE, Auckland

For services to sport and the community

DNZM (Dame Companions of the Order):

Jennifer Barbara Gibbs CNZM, Auckland

For services to the arts

Iritana Te Rangi Tawhiwhirangi CNZM, MBE, Masterton

For services to Maori education

CNZM (Companions of the Order):

Simon Peter Wallace Murdoch, Wellington

For public services, lately as Secretary of Foreign Affairs

Paula Rae Rebstock, North Shore

For public services, lately as chair of the Commerce Commission

Saana (Hana) Waitai Romana Murray QSM, Kaitaia

For services to the community

Professor Alison Stewart, Lincoln

For services to biology, in particular plant pathology

Dr Jeffery Lewis Tallon, Lower Hutt

For services to science

Professor Peter Rowland Thorne, Auckland

For services to auditory neuroscience

John Desmond Todd, Wellington

For services to business and the community

ONZM (Officers of the Order):

Ronald Chan, Manukau

For services to business

Patrick William Cotter, Christchurch

For services to medicine

Murray James Boyd Deaker, North Shore

For services to broadcasting

Carl William Doy, North Shore

For services to music

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