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Friday, January 13, 2012
Dame loves a challenge
By AMY McGILLIVRAY
Balanced life: Remuera businesswoman Rosanne Meo was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year honours.
Photo: JOHN SELKIRK
It's never been a chore to
combine my personal life and my
Dame Rosanne Meo
THE can-do'' attitude her parents
instilled in her has helped business-
woman Rosanne Meo rise through
She made a name for herself in
the male-dominated business world
while raising two children.
Her passion and commitment to
her work has seen the Remuera
resident appointed a Dame Com-
panion of the New Zealand Order of
She is the only new Dame in the
2012 New Year honours.
It's still overwhelming. I'm very,
very thrilled,'' she says.
Dame Rosanne was surprised to
get a letter offering her the title last
I opened the letter and thought:
I don't believe it.' I put it down and
made a cup of coffee and then
looked at it again,'' she says.
The 65-year-old loves the chal-
lenge of her work and the oppor-
tunity it provides for her to help
She is currently a director of
Overland Footwear. She's chair-
woman of the Briscoes Group, the
Auckland Philharmonia Trust
Board, the Real Estate Institute of
New Zealand and AMP Services
New Zealand. She's also a trustee of
the Kelliher Charitable Trust Board
and the South Auckland Health
Dame Rosanne has been a trustee
of the Liggins Institute and the
Auckland School of Medicine,
chairwoman of TVNZ, director of
Sky TV, Ports of Auckland and
Ceramco, and chairwoman and
director of the Forestry Corpor-
The former Baradene College
student started out in strategy and
marketing roles before starting her
own advisory business with the
hope of getting on to the boards of
Before long all of her time was
taken up with governing roles. Her
skills were in demand in a time of
global economic crisis.
I love the stimulation. It gives
you a very diverse life. I love what I
do,'' she says.
Dame Rosanne says her experi-
ence allows her to satisfy her strong
social conscience by working for
She has no particular background
in health or medicine but they are
areas in which she has felt com-
pelled to make a difference.
I've been attracted to those sort
of roles. To finding a way I can
make a contribution and give some-
Dame Rosanne raised her
daughters largely on her own while
climbing the corporate ladder.
Of course it was hard at times
but it was what I wanted to do.
Being a mum was enormously
important to me and now being a
grandmother,'' she says.
It's never been a chore to com-
bine my personal life and my work
Times have changed but Dame
Rosanne says business is still very
male dominated. But she says
women do not need to choose
between a family and a career.
Although things have changed
enormously since I started in busi-
ness they haven't changed enough,''
Dame Rosanne has no plans to
slow down just yet.
I certainly don't plan to stop
working,'' she says.
NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST
CONTINUED Page 5
Plenty of East & Bays residents
were recognised in the New Year
honours list. We will feature some
of the people below in coming
Graham Henry, KNZM
All Blacks coach Graham Henry
becomes a Knight of the New
Zealand Order of Merit for services
to rugby after leading the All
Blacks to Rugby World Cup victory
in 2011. The St Heliers resident
has led the team since 2003 and
coached more than 100 test
Diane Foreman, CNZM
Diane Foreman of Remuera is
made a Companion of the New
Zealand Order for Merit for
services to business. Mrs
Foreman was named
Entrepreneur of the Year in
She is a founding member of
the Robin Hood Foundation
which matches corporations with
charities needing business
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