University awards honorary doctorate to Sir Paul Adams

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One of the Bay of Plenty’s best-known businessmen and benefactors Sir Paul Adams KNZM has been awarded the University of Waikato’s first Honorary Doctorate.

Sir Paul Adams, a distinguished figure in New Zealand’s development landscape, well-known through his Carrus Construction business, was conferred the Honorary Doctorate at a ceremony held at the Tauranga campus in April.

Sir Paul said he was delighted.

“I was humbled and honoured to be the first recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred at Tauranga Campus, University of Waikato,” he told the Bay of Plenty Business News.

An Honorary Doctorate is the University’s most prestigious honour. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley said it was in recognition of Sir Paul’s substantial and ongoing contributions to the University, the Bay of Plenty and beyond.

“Sir Paul’s commitment to the University has been transformative,” said Quigley. “His leadership has been instrumental in the establishment of the University’s Tauranga campus and the Adams Centre for High Performance in Mount Maunganui.”

He serves on the University Foundation Board and has served as a University Council member and Chair of the Campus Development Committee.

With a career spanning 50 years, Sir Paul is considered by the UOW to have been instrumental in shaping the commercial and residential sectors, fostering joint-venture partnerships and spearheading numerous building projects that have significantly shaped the region’s infrastructure.

Sir Paul said the Tauranga campus was poised to grow and was an integral part of the future of the CBD of Tauranga City, as city amenities continued to develop and be revitalised.

“If the University of Waikato is given the go-ahead for a new regional medical school, it will also provide a real opportunity for undergraduate degrees in Tauranga that will become a pathway to a medical degree,” he added.

Born in Wellington, his career began as an engineering cadet before venturing into civil construction then establishing his own consultancy practice.

Sir Paul was an early investor in the Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry. He became the leader of the largest kiwifruit operation in New Zealand with nearly 50 orchards across the Western Bay of Plenty, as well as six post-harvest packing and cool store facilities by 1990.

In 1988, Sir Paul collaborated with the Tauranga District Council to develop and implement a regional growth strategy.

Carrus Corporation played a key role in creating residential subdivisions across major locations in New Zealand. His philanthropic endeavors have supported organisations such as Waipuna Hospice, Women’s Refuge, and Riding for the Disabled as well as the UOW.

Sir Paul is also a life member of Priority One, Tauranga’s economic development agency. He was also the founding chair of Accessible Properties, and IHC Company, the largest non-Government social housing provider in New Zealand.

Sir Paul was a board member at the Correspondence School Te Kura and a Founding Trustee of Tauranga Boys’ College. The historic Mayfield House was donated by Sir Paul and his wife, Lady Cheryl, to the school in 1995.

Sir Paul was voted the 2013 Westpac Business Leader of the Year in the Bay of Plenty and received the Companion and subsequent elevation to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015 and 2019. In 2023, he was inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.

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David Porter
David Porter
THE PORTER REPORT - A monthly update on the business world from David Porter

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