Former international test referee Colin Hawke has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.
He joins an elite band of referees similarly awarded – Paddy O’Brien (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, 2005) Keith Lawrence (same in 2010) Derek Bevan from Wales who became a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2000, and in 2001, Scottish referee Jim Fleming was awarded the MBE.
With 175 top level games from 1983 to 2002, including 24 tests matches, under his belt, Colin Hawke can now add the MSZM to his other rugby honours, including the 2002 IRB Referee Award for Distinguished Service.
He started refereeing in 1972 and is currently referee education officer for the South Canterbury and North Otago rugby unions. He was high performance referee coach for New Zealand Rugby in Wellington from 2005 to 2012 and then a mentor to New Zealand’s fulltime referees. He was also a Super Rugby referee selector for Sanzar. In 2016, he will work with Bryce Lawrence as an assistant coach of four of NZ’s top refs.
Speaking to New Zealand media, Mr Hawke was thrilled with his award, “I’m hugely honoured. It’s a great thing for my family and friends and also for fellow referees.”