New Year honours for top sportspeople

Twenty-one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community have been recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List.

The Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has been made a Dame Companion and the former All Blacks Steve Hansen has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says Noeline Taurua was appointed Head Coach of the Silver Ferns in August 2018 and guided the team to their first Netball World Cup title in 16 years at the 2019 Netball World Cup.

“Noeline Taurua’s leadership saw the Silver Ferns go from their disappointing result at the Commonwealth Games to world champions in just over a year. Her tactical nous and people skills are second to none.”

Steve Hansen was head coach of the All Blacks from 2012 until stepping down following the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He was part of the coaching trio that led the All Blacks to victory in 2011, then followed that up with another win as head coach in 2015.

“As a Rugby World Cup winning coach Steve Hansen is only the third New Zealander to take the All Blacks to a RWC win. In his term as ABs coach he has changed the way rugby is played around the world through the open and attacking style of play that he has led,” Grant Robertson says.

Outgoing chief executive of New Zealand Rugby Steve Tew has been appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to rugby and sports administration, with Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman also appointed as an ONZM for her contribution to netball.

Also appointed ONZM’s were Lydia Bradley for services to mountaineering, Elizabeth Clark for services to gymnastics, Margaret Forsyth for services to netball and the community, and Michael Hopkinson for services to kayaking and outdoor education.

The six Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit includes Honey Hireme for services to rugby league.

“I want to congratulate all our honours recipients for the outstanding contributions they have made in their sporting communities.

“They are role models in their fields inspiring the next generation of sporting leaders, and they should be proud of the work they have done,” Grant Robertson says.

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