Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
Honorary Degrees/Doctorates

The Lincoln University Honorary Doctorate awards the following degrees:

  • DCom - the degree of Doctor of Commerce
  • DNatRes - the degree of Doctor of Natural Resources
  • DSc - the degree of Doctor of Science
  • DSocSci - the degree of Doctor of Social Science honoris causa

The Lincoln University Council established an Honorary Degrees Committee in November 1992, to enable it to confer to higher doctorates honoris causa, and to establish guidelines for the award of honorary degrees. The Committee will consider nominations using the relevant criteria, and will make a recommendation to the Council regarding the award of honorary degrees. 

2016 Recipients
Honorary Professor Peter Skelton, CNZM, Honorary Doctor of Natural Resources: Former Environment Court Judge Peter Skelton, now an Environment Canterbury Commissioner, is considered a pioneer in his field. In 1978, he became the first Environment Court Judge to be based in the South Island, with the expansion of a judiciary based in Auckland and Wellington. He spent more than 20 years in the role, and more recently, his depth of experience has played a key part in developing water management plans for Canterbury. Honorary Professor Skelton has always had a strong interest in access to justice both as a practising lawyer and as a Judge and in 2001 he was appointed the first Chair of the Environmental Legal Assistance Fund’s Advisory Committee administered by the Ministry for the Environment that enables community groups to obtain funding for resource management cases. In 2001, Honorary Professor Skelton was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of his services to environment law.

Hon John Luxton, QSO, Honorary Doctor of Science: A recipient of the Queen’s Service Order and an A.C .Cameron Award winner, Mr Luxton is also a former parliamentarian and Minister of the Crown. During his time as a Minister, his roles were varied and an indication of his broad interests, knowledge and abilities. Mr Luxton is Co-Chair of the Waikato River Authority, Chair of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and of Hauraki Iwi owned Pouarua Farm Partnership and a Director of Wallace Corporation, Tatua Co-op Dairy Company, and a number of private farming companies. Mr Luxton recently stepped down from his position as the inaugural chairman of DairyNZ in 2015 after eight years in the role.

2015 Recipients
Tā Mark Solomon, Doctor of Natural Resources: Tā Mark Solomon has spent 16 years leading his iwi on its post-settlement journey.His service to Ngāi Tahu, as well as a plethora of other leadership roles for Māori and for the nation, sees him honoured today. He took the chairman’s role for the tribe in just days after it settled with the Crown for $170m in 1998 as redress for injustices that had significantly impaired the social, cultural and economic development of the tribe. The gains made by Ngāi Tahu since then have been many. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu’s now has a net worth exceeding $1 billion and since settlement, over $320m has been invested in tribal development. The iwi is also heavily invested in ongoing environmental programmes in the region such as Whakaora Te Waihora, a joint commitment to the restoration and rejuvenation of the mauri and ecosystem health of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere and its catchment.

Sue Suckling, OBE, Doctor of Natural Resources: Ms Suckling moved down from the North Island after earning Bachelor of Technology (Honours) and Master of Technology (Honours) degrees from Massey University.  In 2012 Massey awarded her the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for her drive and contribution to science and innovation and business success. She lectured for two years at Lincoln University before leaving to work in the meat industry as a food technologist where she rose rapidly up the ranks to become chief executive at Pacific Foods. She became the first recipient of the first New Zealand Business Woman of the Year award only four years after stepping away from Lincoln, and was awarded an OBE for her contribution to New Zealand business in 1996.

A list of our previous medalists can be found on our Former Honorary Doctorate Recipients page.

Award Nomination Criteria

The Nominee will be assessed on the following criteria:

  1. The Nominee has achieved very high distinction in his/her field, whether or not that field relates to the fields of specialisation of Lincoln University. That achievement will be considered under the following categories:
    • Agriculture and Natural Resources;
    • Arts, Culture and Sport;
    • Commerce;
    • Environment;
    • Maori;
    • Politics;
    • Recreation and Tourism; and
    • Science and Research.

  2. The candidate has established connections with Lincoln University:
    • on account of being a graduate or diplomat of Lincoln University; or
    • on account of being or having been a member of the Council of Lincoln University; or
    • on account of other connections with Lincoln University; or
    • on account of being a staff member.

  3. The candidate has the potential to enhance the public profile of Lincoln University or of its areas of specialisation.

To make a nomination, please complete the nomination form below or alternatively, you can download a copy of the form and send the completed form to Adrian Carpinter (Director, Governance):

  • Email:, or
  • Mail: Vice-Chancellor's Office, PO Box 85084, Lincoln University, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand
    Please do not attach any other supporting materials as these will not be considered. Curriculum vitae's are also not necessary)

Medal Nomination Form