High-achieving business people were among the New Zealanders who received official insignia at today’s investiture ceremony at Government House in Auckland.
Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder of The Warehouse, the Tindall Foundation and the family’s $250 million seed and venture capital fund K1W1 which has invested in more than 200 start-ups, along with independent director and former ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman, who is also a director on the board of NZME – publisher of the Herald, were among this morning’s accolade recipients.
Tindall, who has been involved in the business community for more than four decades following the inception of New Zealand’s largest retailer The Warehouse in 1982, was appointed a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business, the community and the environment.
“Getting the upgrade from the last knighthood to this special one is definitely the pinnacle,” he said, adding that the accolade came after “45 years of hard work”.
His proudest moment, after receiving the latest accolade, was to hear The Warehouse Group had become carbon neutral – one of only three retailers in the world to do so, he said.
“We’ve been moving towards trying to do stuff like that for a long, long time and finally we’ve got there. It’s a long journey but more and more businesses now have to look really hard at doing it, and every individual in the country can make a difference.”
Tindall said he would like to see other companies follow suit and a make a commitment to doing the same. “There obviously are some quite big sacrifices that you have to make and so you have to figure out how you can continue to do business and make a difference for the environment.”
Tindall is no longer involved in the direct running of The Warehouse, he spends his days split between chair of Team New Zealand, philantrophy work with the Tindall Foundation, working with start-ups and keeping the Trees That Count programme on track to plant 200 million trees by the end of 2030.
Barbara Chapman this morning received insignia of a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services for business.
Chapman was formerly chief executive of ASB Bank, of which for a long time she was the only female CEO to lead one of New Zealand’s largest banks. During her time at ASB Chapman oversaw the establishment of its Community Groups Assistance Grants programme and the Whakaterehia programme to encourage Maori representation in senior management.