John Beckett is one of Saint Kentigern’s Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

September 05, 2022 at 5:46 PM

It is our honour to announce that John Beckett is one of four inaugural recipients of the Saint Kentigern Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award recognises our alumni who have achieved excellence in their professional lives and lived the values of Saint Kentigern in their pursuits, whilst simultaneously showcasing great leadership, and are role models for our students.

John Beckett holds the distinction of becoming a Rhodes Scholar in 1967; to date, he is the only Old Collegian to receive this award to attend Oxford University in England. Leaving Saint Kentigern in 1962, he completed a degree in engineering with first class honours at the University of Auckland and continuing the running interest he began in school, became the national junior mile champion, and set a New Zealand Universities mile record.

At Oxford University, under his Rhodes Scholarship, John completed his MPhil in Management Studies in 1970, specialising in the economics of industry. Working in London as a consultant for Peat Marwick Mitchell and Co, John had several assignments which took him to the Falkland Islands, West Indies and Belgium. He returned to New Zealand to work for the Government mainly in transport and energy with periods in the Railways, in the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group and in the Ministry of Transport.

John then moved to the New Zealand Dairy Board where he was a senior executive for 15 years before he returned to economic consulting in the transport, agriculture and education sector, and for a period was on the New Zealand Apple and Pear Board. He was appointed in 2008 as Executive Director of the Board of Airline Representatives (NARNZ).

About the Distinguished Alumni Awards

The inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award was celebrated last weekend at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. At the ceremony, it is our honour to recognise the achievements of four esteemed winners:

  • John Beckett (Saint Kentigern College, 1958-1962)
  • Philip Recordon (Saint Kentigern Boys’ School, 1959-1960 and Saint Kentigern College, 1961-1965)
  • Sir Noel Robinson (Saint Kentigern College, 1958-1961)
  • Dr Ernest Willoughby (Saint Kentigern College, 1959-1963)


The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be celebrated every two years to recognise Saint Kentigern alumni for a series of achievements of note in the fields of business, social, cultural, sporting or environmental well-being of the community, and for an illustrious career of exceptional national or international accomplishment.

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