Navigating the New Zealand music industry

Music stalwarts in Honours List

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Entertainers John Rowles and the Topp Twins, plus Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd and DJ/producer Sir-Vere are among the music luminaries to receive recognition in the Queen’s Bithday Honours List.

Legendary crooner Rowles, who was awarded an OBE in 1979 for his services to the music industry, received a knighthood, while Jools and Lynda Topp have been made Dames; all three were honored their services to entertainment.

Other artists honoured include opera singer Timua Brennan (left), who became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and When The Cat’s Away’s Jackie Clarke, who has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

On the business side, Shepherd has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work in fostering and promoting New Zealand music, while former Radio New Zealand chairman Richard Griffin has became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Meanwhile Philip Bell – aka Sir-Vere – has been honoured for championing of hip hop in New Zealand for nearly 30 years across a variety of roles, being an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

As well as Clarke, other recipients of the New Zealand Order of Merit, included Julie Christie for her services to musical play therapy, music teacher and composer Marian Burns, and Steven Sedley the inaugural President of the Hutt Valley Chamber Music Society.

There were also Queen’s Service Medals for people known mainly for music work in their local communities. For the full list of recipients visit

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