VETERAN broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes has been knighted at a special ceremony at his Hawkes Bay lodge.
Around 100 guests, including Prime Minister John Key, were there to witness Sir Paul receive a “dubbing of the sword” by Governor General Jerry Mateparae.The ceremony was brought forward due to his poor health.
“It’s not good, generally. I don’t think Houdini will do it this time,” he told APNZ.
Sir Paul said the honour meant a lot to his family, for the Paralympics, for broadcasting, and for the Erebus plane crash case, which he had written a book on.
“The honour today means an incredible amount on so many levels.”
Sir Jerry said Sir Paul had celebrated “the colourful, the passionate and the expressive side of our national psyche” throughout a long and varied career spanning print, radio and television.
“You have asked hard questions of politicians, bureaucrats and celebrities. And you have told the stories of everyday New Zealanders as they celebrated the good times, and grieved in the sad times.
“As you said at the close of your nightly programme for 15 years: `Those were our people today, that’s Holmes tonight.’
“Sir Paul, your achievements and commitment to your work as a broadcaster and supporter of community initiatives have brought us together here today.
“Your legacy to New Zealand broadcasting, as a pioneer – in talkback radio, and in news and current affairs on television – is considerable. You are man of many talents, skills and endeavours whom we acknowledge and celebrate today.”
The 62-year-old had heart surgery last year and is battling prostate cancer.
He officially retired last year, and is one of New Zealand’s most recognised media personalities.
The ceremony also recognised his commitment to the community, including the Paralympics, anti-drugs campaigns, and the Auckland rescue helicopter.