Michael Hill, the founder and chairman of Michael Hill Jewellers, has been knighted for services to business and the arts in New Zealand’s New Year Honours List.
The 72-year-old jeweller, author and entrepreneur opened his first retail store in Whangarei in 1979 – today he heads 250 stores in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States and plans to expand to “1000 stores around the world by 2022”.
In addition Hill has hosted an international violin competition for the last 10 years and the New Zealand Golf Open at his private golf course in Queenstown for the last three years.
He is also a major donor to Cure Kids, a charity that funds research into childhood diseases.
Hill told the Otago Daily Times the award was “more than an honour”.
“It’s quite a responsibility, really, because it means you’re a role model for the country,” he said.
“That’s quite a big call, so you have to try your very best.”