Don Rowlands knighted
Don Rowlands was recognised in the 2015 New Year's Honours list. Rowlands has become a knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to rowing and business and at the age of 87, he remains hugely active in the sport of rowing.
Sir Don Rowlands won two medals as a New Zealand representative rower at the British Empire Games in 1950 and 1954 before becoming the chairman for the organising committee of the World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro in 1978, when the World Rowing Championships returned to New Zealand in 2010 he was the Patron of the event.
Between 1948 and 1957 he won nine New Zealand rowing titles. From 1960 to 1977, he was a New Zealand rowing selector. He also managed the 1962 New Zealand Commonwealth Games rowing team and the 1997 world championships team.
Since 1948, Sir Rowlands has played an integral role in rowing at Lake Karapiro and has been a leader in the
maintenance, development and event management of world class rowing events through Karapiro Rowing.
Rowlands is also the Vice-Patron of Rowing New Zealand (New Zealand Rowing Association) and a Life Member. Rowlands has also served for the World Rowing governing body FISA, from 1974 to 1992 where he represented New Zealand and Australia.
Rowlands has also won two Halberg Awards for leadership and service to sport. He was awarded the Order of Australia (Honorary Member General Division) in Australia recently.
In 2014 Rowlands was inducted into the business hall of fame. He was chief executive and director of Fisher & Paykel Industries from 1978 to 2001. He was also the chairman and then director of Mainfreight.