The Meteorological Society constitution provides for Honorary Members to be awarded by a General Meeting to persons who have made an outstanding contribution to meteorology.
- Honorary membership is the highest recognition of the Meteorological Society.
- Honorary members shall be New Zealanders or have a significant professional or other connection with New Zealand present or past.
- There is no limitation on the number of Honorary members but normally no more than two candidates for Honorary membership should be proposed to an AGM in any one year.
Honorary membership may be awarded for:
- Outstanding research paper or papers in meteorology, including climatology.
- Outstanding contributions to the practical application of meteorology including operational weather forecasting and applications of climatology.
- Outstanding leadership in meteorology or climatology.
- Outstanding efforts towards the advancement of meteorology and climatology including increasing public understanding and awareness.
- Nominations for Honorary membership shall be submitted to the AGM through the Committee.
- Nominations shall include supporting documentation.
Honorary Membership Roll
Tom Steiner (1996 AGM, deceased):
Tom was instrumental in the formation of the Meteorological Society in 1979 and in its subsequent development. He has had a distinguished career in forecasting, meteorological research and in administration. Recently Tom has been involved in teaching at Massey University and has organised a local Branch of the Society in Palmerston North.
John Hickman (1998 AGM):
John was a Director of the New Zealand Meteorological Service, retiring in 1988, after long years of service in the field of meteorology. He has been active in the World Meteorological Organisation, President of Regional Association V of that organisation, and has worked as a meteorological consultant. John has been active in Society matters on relevant issues.
Alex Neale (1998 AGM):
Alex was an active researcher in the field of meteorology, and excellent Chief Forecaster, with a number of books and publications written. Alex has been extremely active committee member of the Society, leading the Wairarapa Weather Watchers, whose Masterton meetings frequently draw a large number of supporters, which surpass numbers seen at the larger centres.
John Gabites (1999 AGM, deceased):
John was an extremely versatile forecaster who, after duty in the Pacific during World War 2, developed the research branch of the Meteorological Service. He worked tirelessly to improve the scientific level of meteorology, instituting an annual conference for professional staff in 1952. In 1965 John became Director of the Service. In his retirement he was, from 1975 to 1979, the first Director of an independent Fiji Meteorological Service.
Erick Brenstrum (2002 AGM):
Erick has been an operational weather forecaster at MetService since the mid-1970s, and is one of the most experienced and expert meteorologists in the forecast room. He is a great communicator of meteorology and climate, having published ‘The New Zealand Weather Book’ in 1998 and is a regular contributor to New Zealand Geographic and to Radio New Zealand on topics from climate history to extreme weather events. Outside of meteorology, Erick is also a published poet, and has wide knowledge of history and cultures around the world. He has been awarded the MetService Henry Hill award, and has twice won the New Zealand Association of Scientists’ Science Communicator award.
Neil Gordon (2012 AGM):
Neil joined the New Zealand Meteorological Service in 1968 and from 1988 to 1992 he was in charge of all forecasting for NZ, and implemented many changes including centralisation. He headed up the National Weather Services division of MetService from 1992 to 2005 and from 2005 to his retirement in 2011 he was mainly involved in R&D and international affairs. Neil also had a very active role with WMO, and was PR of NZ in 1992 and again from 2008 to 2011, representing NZ at numerous international meetings.