Former Leader of the Opposition amongst Graduation honorees

02 May 2023 | News

Former Leader of the Opposition and celebrated international aid worker, David Shearer, is among a notable group of recipients of honorary awards at Lincoln University’s 2023 Graduation on 12 May.


David Shearer - Honorary Doctor of Commerce honoris causa

David Shearer has achieved distinction in international humanitarian aid work and in New Zealand politics.

Over a career of more than 30 years working for the United Nations, he has fulfilled the positions of Head of Mission, Deputy Head of Mission, Emergency Relief Operations Coordinator Worldwide, Senior Advisor, and UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian Missions.

Those roles involved managing the provision of humanitarian aid in numerous countries troubled by war and conflict such as Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Sri Lanka.

He was named New Zealander of the Year in 1992 and awarded an MBE in 1993 in the United Kingdom Royal Honours for welfare services to children in Somalia.

He also holds the Save the Children Award for Gallantry, for humanitarian service in areas of conflict.

On his return to New Zealand, he stated his belief in social justice "led me naturally to the Labour Party".

Winning the Mount Albert by-election in 2009, he entered the House of Representatives as a Labour electorate MP.

He became Leader of the Opposition and the NZ Labour Party in 2011, retaining those roles until 2013.

As an MP, he held numerous important shadow spokesperson roles, including Foreign Affairs, Research and Development, Science and Technology, and Energy and Resources.

David resigned from Parliament in December 2016. In 2017, he was appointed to head the UN Peace-Keeping Mission in South Sudan, returning to New Zealand in 2021.

Of his most recent period with the United Nations, member states praised his work as "outstanding and exemplary".

He holds a Master of Science (Resource Management) degree, which was a programme offered jointly by Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury through the Lincoln-based Centre for Resource Management.

This helped lay a foundation for his later work in international aid, "and was probably the best two years of education that I had", he said.

Photo credit: UN News/Daniel Dickinson

Anake Goodall -
 Honorary Doctor of Natural Resources honoris causa

Anake Goodall’s career spans over four decades of work and service in the public and private sectors.

Currently Adjunct Professor in the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury, he was formerly Ngāi Tahu’s Claims Manager during its Treaty settlement negotiations.

As Settlement Implementation Manager and then CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu from 2007-2011, he was tasked with consolidating the organisation of the iwi after formalisation of the settlement and delivering outcomes for the benefit of iwi members.

It was his role to embed Ngāi Tahu values, voices and faces across the portfolio of the iwi’s work and ensure the ongoing development of structures and processes needed to provide a solid platform for Ngāi Tahu’s intergenerational growth.

Anake has a personal working philosophy based on establishing what he terms ’Infrastructure for Good’ and enjoys helping to build things that improve the world. He is particularly interested in the alignment of human endeavour with environmental and economic resources to realise intergenerational wellbeing.

Anake sees governance as a vehicle for social change, and in contributing to increased resilience and self-determination at the community level, combining financial, human and other capitals in ventures that create long-term collective good.

He holds and has held numerous governance positions. Past roles include being a Director of Meridian Energy, a trustee on the establishment boards of Tē Pā o Rākaihautū and the Environmental Protection Authority, co-founder and Chair of the Hillary Institute of International Leadership and Chair of the Ākina Foundation.

He has also been called on to cast a critical eye and provide guidance, including as a member of the Review Panel of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, and of the Lincoln University Transformation Board in 2017.

Current roles include trustee of donor-advised fund The Gift Trust and The Christchurch Foundation, Chair of Terra Nova Foundation, and Chair of Seed The Change | He Kākano Hāpai.

Anake has an MBA from the University of Canterbury, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a Harkness Fellow.

He also has another connection to Lincoln, as a lecturer in the university’s Centre for Māori and Indigenous Planning and Development in 2005.

Peter McBride - Bledisloe Medal 2023

Peter grew up on a dairy farm near Te Aroha before his father sold the property and moved into the kiwifruit sector in Te Puke.

He holds a Bachelor of Horticulture from Massey University and in 2009, he completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce from Lincoln University. In 2002, he completed the Kellogg’s Primary Industry Leadership Programme. He is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, a current member of the New Zealand China Council and a previous member of the NZ International Business Forum. 

Peter developed his practical agricultural skills and wider business acumen working with charitable organisation Trinity Lands, alongside friend and mentor, Ian Elliott.

He is currently the CEO of Trinity Lands, which owns 21 dairy farms that produce 7.2 million kilograms of milk solids annually. Trinity also has 178 hectares dedicated to kiwifruit, producing around 2.8 million trays of kiwifruit per year.

More importantly, Trinity distributed approximately $25.5 million to its charitable shareholders and a further $2.2 million into the local communities of South Waikato and Bay of Plenty in the last financial year, targeting essential social and emergency services.

A former director and chairman of Zespri International, Peter was voted on to the Fonterra Board as a farmer-elected director in 2018 and appointed chairman in 2020.  

His corporate agribusiness experience has provided him with exposure in a number of international markets, in particular Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Peter has leadership experience in the New Zealand rural sector through his work with Zespri and Fonterra. Particular standouts are his leadership through the PSA crisis, which had the potential to decimate the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, as well as overseeing changes to the capital structures of both Zespri and Fonterra.

In 2018, Peter was awarded Horticulture NZ’s Bledisloe Cup for leadership, and Deloitte NZ Chairperson of the year. He was praised by the Deloitte judges for chairing a united and constructive board. 

Soane Patolo Jr - 
The Lincoln Alumni International Medal 2023

Soane Patolo is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation (MORDI) Tonga Trust, and a highly regarded international expert in Pacific Island community development.

MORDI is an NGO with a purpose is to empower isolated rural communities to fight against poverty. Through his leadership of MORDI, Soane has made a fundamentally important contribution to the wellbeing and prosperity of vulnerable communities in the Kingdom of Tonga.

This has facilitated increased agricultural input, bolstered agricultural productivity and transferred innovative and technological know-how to rural small holder farmers that form the foundations of Tongan food and nutrition security.

Soane graduated with Bachelor of Resource Studies from Lincoln University in 2003. MORDI began in 2007 with an initial investment of $100,000 (USD) from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to focus on Community Development in rural communities in Tonga.

It has grown to include 30 staff members, with the number of its beneficiaries increasing to 39,300 people in 7300 households across 122 rural areas, supporting 80% of Tonga’s rural communities. Funding has grown to more than $17 million.

Soane’s approach to community development is based on local empowerment, the importance of education and capacity building, and focusing on the most vulnerable.

He has played a key role in improving healthy eating and food hygiene education amongst Tongan women, improved village-based sanitation, enhanced local water security, particularly on remote islands, and introduced new climate change adaptive farming systems.

Soane has also forged new partnerships between university academics in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the European Union, with remote communities and smallholder farmers throughout Tonga. This has enabled international research innovation to better to connect with local Tongan industries.

MORDI is becoming a model for other Pacific Islands and countries through promoting climate changes awareness, climate resilience and livelihood generation for farmers and communities by linking smallholders to the market, undertaking local market studies, encouraging fruit tree agriculture, and ensuring innovative agro-processing.

In 2019, Soane became Adjunct Associate Professor of Rural Development at the University of Sunshine Coast and in 2021, he was honoured with the Royal Order of the Crown by the King of Tonga.