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Holland awarded Companion of NZ Order of Merit

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Tauranga lawyer and philanthropist Bill Holland was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

The citation highlighted his involvement in the governance of a range of community trusts and organisations over more than two decades. He was already a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Holland told Bay of Plenty Business News that the recent award had come as a surprise and that he only heard about it on a confidential basis about a month before it was announced.

“It’s not something I ever sought,” he said. “I’ve been happy with my life. But I appreciated getting the award.”

Holland was for many years senior partner of Holland Beckett, a firm founded by his late father, and now acts as a consultant lawyer to the firm. The firm is currently headquartered in upper Cameron Road, but is planning to relocate to central when a new building is completed there.

“I’ve been involved in so many different things,” he said. “I don’t love going to meetings. But you have that responsibility if you’ve got something out of something, then you have to give something back.”

Holland helped found the Acorn Foundation in 2003, chaired it until 2011 and remains an ambassador for the organisation, which has gifted more than $16.5 million to the community.

He became a trustee of the Tauranga Energy Community Trust in 2012 and has been chairperson since 2014, leading its transformational change from a consumer trust into a community trust.

Holland said he did not intend to ever go back to working full time and that he was always planning to slow down.

He noted that he had always been involved in activities he enjoyed and had the huge satisfaction of working with good people.

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