Meteorological Society of New Zealand
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 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, deceased):
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.
Brett Mullan (2019 AGM, deceased):
Brett started his working career as a Trainee Meteorologist and forecaster at the Meteorological Service of New Zealand, completed a Sc.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and was a Principal Scientist at NIWA, Wellington. His research included seminal papers on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, and research into climate change, climate modelling and New Zealand’s temperature series. Reports he led and completed for the Ministry for the Environment (2008, 2016) on climate change scenarios underpin adaptation and mitigation planning in New Zealand.
Cliff G. Revell ( 2002 AGM):
Cliff first joined the Met. Service in 1948, then spent some years serving in the RNZAF and teaching. He returned to the Met. Service in 1960, working as a forecaster and researcher until his retirement in 1988. His fascination with tropical cyclones, and his research on this topic, has significantly influenced forecasting practice. Cliff was a member of the Meteorological Society’s committee from 1989 to 1998, and served as Treasurer from 1998 until 2009.
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.
Brian Giles (2017 AGM, deceased) :
Brian spent the International Geophysical Year on the Argentine Islands station, off the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, running the radiosonde unit. He then taught climatology and meteorology at the University of Birmingham until he retired in 1998. He became editor of the International Journal of Climatology in 1991, when it consisted of 4 issues per year. By 1996 it had grown to 11 issues per year, and he shared the load with Glenn McGregor until 1999, when he moved to New Zealand and joined our society. He was editor of Weather and Climate from 2003 to 2012 (Volumes 23 to 32(1)), and subsequently continued as publication editor until 2015 (Volume 35). He has made an exceptional contribution to meteorology as an editor.
Bob McDavitt (2017 AGM):
Bob has had various roles on our committee: Circulation manager 1990-1991, VP Auckland 1993-1998, President 1998-2000, and Newsletter Editor from 2000-2020. Bob was awarded the Member of New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013. He has provided exceptional service to our committee.
Kevin Trenberth (2017 AGM):
Kevin started out at the New Zealand Meteorological Service and now lives in Boulder, Colorado in the USA. He has achieved international renown, and is often mentioned in the “news” on our website. In 2017, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) awarded him a Roger Revelle Medal for “outstanding contributions in atmospheric sciences, atmospheric-ocean coupling, atmosphere-land coupling, biogeochemical cycles, climate or related aspects of the Earth system”. He has made exceptional contributions to atmospheric science and understanding climate variability and change.