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Former Ōtaki College students Chris Parkin and David Pritchard were inducted into the new XŌtaki Hall of Fame at a black tie dinner last night (May 3).

They are the first recipients of the awards, bestowed by the XŌtaki College Alumni Trust to honour the achievements of former college students. More than 160 guests and dignitaries gathered for the occasion at Ōtaki College. Guest speaker at the event was former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.

XŌtaki chair Max Lutz said the two recipients stood out as people who had not only achieved a great deal in their business lives, but also contributed significantly to the college and the community in many ways.

“They exemplify the qualities that make them deserving of the award, and set an example for the students of today and the future,” Max said.

David Pritchard's entrepreneurial career began in the mid 1960s when he began dairy farming with brother Stuart and father David senior. They gradually expanded their farming interests and diversified from dairy into horticulture, putting a 20-hectare block on Addington Road into berryfruit, apples, pears and apricots. Their packhouse processed fruit for export and employed dozens of workers.

They also also started a management company, Willow Park Group, developing horticulture blocks for investment groups. It led to specialising in subdivision developments of residential and lifestyle blocks throughout the country.

David’s desire to see other people succeed saw him take a role on the Kapiti Enterprise Trust, he was active in the Young Farmers in the 60s and took a strong role in the organising and running of the paraplegic camps at Bridge Lodge. Over the years David has held many roles on boards such as the NZ Horticulture Export Authority, NZ Rural Properties, Wellington International Airport, Housing New Zealand, the Housing Foundation (set up to help families get into their first homes), Wellington Waterfront, and Port Marlborough.

In 2003 David won the Contracting and Construction category at the NZ Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Chris Parkin is probably best known for moving the Museum Hotel in Wellington on railway lines to a new site nearby, to make way for the new Te Papa.

However, he has also been a Wellington City councillor, an entrepreneur, arts collector and arts patron, and generous philanthropist.

Having bought the Museum Hotel, he acquired a formidable art collection that became world renowned. He has since sold the hotel, but continues to be involved in Wellington’s arts, business and cultural scene. He provides sponsorships in the visual arts, film, theatre, music and dance, as well as several charities including the Life Flight Trust, IHC, Ronald MacDonald House and Child Cancer. In 2017 Chris made a generous donation to assist in the completion of Ōtaki College’s SS Otaki Centennial Monument, and provides a college art scholarship annually.

Over the years, Chris has been a trustee of the Affordable Arts Trust, chair of Wellington Venues Limited and Te Whaia Services, and is a trustee of the Hannah Playhouse. He has also given generously of his time and resources to causes and projects such as the New Zealand International Festival and Bats Theatre productions.

In the 2011 Queens Birthday honours list he was awarded a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts and business.


CONTACT: Andy Fraser | Principal | Ōtaki College
Mill Road, PO Box 36, Otaki
(06) 364 8204 | Mobile 027 4328829 | email

Ōtaki College ex-students honoured

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