Two knighted in Queen’s Birthday honours

Distinguished Professor William (Bill) Denny ONZM was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

An East Tamaki business leader and a professor at the forefront of anticancer drug research from Pakuranga have been made knights in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021.

A police officer from Golflands was also recognised in this year’s list.

Michael Daniell was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, healthcare and governance.

Sir Michael was managing director and chief executive officer of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare in East Tamaki from November 2001 to March 2016 and remains on the company’s board.

He joined research and development team in the nascent medical division of Fisher & Paykel Industries in 1979 and over a 37-year career he became the general manager of the renamed Healthcare Division in 1990 and CEO of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare when it separated from the Appliances business of Fisher & Paykel in 2001.

Under his leadership the F&P Healthcare team grew the business into a world-leading company for the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of medical devices to assist patients with breathing difficulties, with its market capitalisation reaching $20 billion last year. It has the largest global market share for intensive care respiratory humidifiers and high flow oxygen therapy systems.

He was awarded CEO of the Year at the Deloitte Top 200 awards in 2013. He has been a director of Tait Communications since 2015 and a member of the University of Auckland Council since 2011, chairing the finance committee. He chairs the MedTech CoRE, a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University. Sir Michael is on the Boards of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Australasia’s largest life sciences venture capital fund and Cochlear, the world’s leading hearing implant company.

Michael Daniell was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Distinguished Professor William (Bill) Denny ONZM was also made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of his services to medical research.

Professor Sir William, from Pakuranga, has been at the forefront of anti-cancer drug research for more than 40 years and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2003 for his contributions in this field.

He has continued in his role as director of the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre at the University of Auckland, having held the position since 1999. Over the course of his career he has led teams which have taken 15 cancer drugs from the discovery phase through to clinical trials, and in some cases application in the clinic.

Additional research at the centre led to an anti-tuberculosis drug in 2015 and an anti-Leishmaniasis drug in 2017. As part of the development of these drugs, he has been a co-founding scientist with Proacta Theraputics in San Diego and Pathway Therapeutics in San Francisco and has worked with the Global Alliance for TB and the Geneva-based Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative.

Professor Sir William co-founded Kea Therapeutics in 2018, which is developing a range of anaesthetics and analgesics to reduce the reliance on opioids. He has authored more than 700 publications and is a co-inventor on close to 70 US patents. He was appointed to the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2016.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Sergeant Gurpreet Arora of Golflands was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the New Zealand Police and ethnic communities.

Sergeant Arora has had more than 15 years’ frontline and ethnic services experience with the New Zealand Police and is currently employed with Counties Manukau District Police. Sergeant Arora was appointed to the posts of Ethnic Services Liaison and Coordinator within Counties Manukau, where he became a significant point of contact to the South Asian community.

He initiated ‘Operation Dukan,’ a project in 2008/2009 educating retailers to adopt simple methods to improve their safety which was expanded across two other Auckland Police districts. He has been involved in setting up and expanding Gandhi Nivas in Auckland, a perpetrator-oriented project to reduce family harm, and is currently working as Family Harm Partnership Liaison Officer for Gandhi Nivas.

He has worked closely with Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and other groups within South Asian communities to ensure their proper representation in the District and Area South Asian Advisory Boards of Counties Manukau Police. He initiated the practice of observing religious and cultural occasions of significance at the Manukau Police Station, including Ramadan Iftar, Eid festivities and Diwali.

He has worked on a New to New Zealand initiative for international students. Sergeant Arora has utilised ethnic media channels and community partnerships to promote personal and public safety messages and neighbourhood crime prevention programmes.