New Year honours

Graeme North (left) and Paul McGill

Two Warkworth residents have been named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.      

Paul McGill was named an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM) for 39 years service with the NZ Fire Service and Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ).

Mr McGill retired last year from the role of National Commander Urban, the highest-ranking firefighter position in the country.

He was national commander during the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, managing and coordinating a national response.

He is credited with being a driving force behind the establishment of urban search and rescue teams.

In addition, he worked with the St John ambulance service on joint training, sharing facilities and to introduce first responder and co-responder schemes across New Zealand.

Since 1980, he has held a range of positions including firefighter, senior station officer, area chief fire officer, fire region manager, director of operations and training, deputy national commander and acting chief executive in the lead up to the establishment of FENZ.

Warkworth’s Graeme North was named a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to architecture and natural building standards.

Mr North is known for his architecture using natural building materials, including straw bale, earthen walls and plasters, natural timber and fibres.

He was the founding chair of the Earth Building Association of NZ (EBANZ) in 1988, and resumed the role from 2014 to 2018.

He also developed the original Earth Building Standards published in 1998 and is currently completing an update of those standards.

He is recognised for promoting the integration of plants and restored buildings to create sustainable designs he calls “livingscapes”.

Mr North is also a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Nominations for the awards are submitted to the Prime Minister, who then makes recommendations to the Queen.


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