Professor Peter Hunter appointed Knight Companion

This year's King's Birthday Honours saw a new knight at the University and academics recognised for their contribution to research and service.

Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter has been appointed a Knight Companion
Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter has been appointed a Knight Companion.
The founder of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Professor Peter Hunter has been appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medical science in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours.
Distinguished Professor Sir Peter Hunter, who was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010, said he was most proud of his work with the Physiome Project.
“It’s put New Zealand at the forefront of a major international effort to use what are called virtual human twins in healthcare. I think over a long period of developing the methods we’ve put ourselves in a really good position to be able to internationally lead the development of engineering, physics and maths approaches to improve healthcare outcomes.”
Professor Merryn Tawhai, the director of the ABI said, “Peter’s reputation in bioengineering internationally is second-to-none and is the reason why many young scientists choose to come to ABI, and why our home-grown talent chooses to stay.”
She said his most significant has been his leadership in transforming the country’s bioengineering research capability to an entrepreneurial focus. This has accelerated the translation of research into clinical applications. Throughout his career, she said he remained “a thoroughly decent and humble person’.
The work and achievement of other academics from the University were recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.
  • Associate Professor Rohan Ameratunga for services to immunology, ONZM 
  • Adjunct Professor Peter Beck for services to the aerospace industry, business and education, Knight Companion 
  • Professor Ian Bissett for services to colorectal surgery and education, ONZM
  • Dr Suzanne Blackwell for services to clinical and forensic psychology and the law, MNZM 
  • Honorary Professor John Collins, MNZM
  • Dr Matire Harwood for services to Māori health, QSM 
  • Dr Barbara Hochstein for services to radiology and education, MNZM 
  • Professor Phillippa Poole for services to medical education, ONZM 
  • Dr Emma Scotter for services to Motor Neuron Disease research, MNZM   

Media contact: Gilbert Wong,, 021 917942