Hon Dr Wayne Mapp
Minister of Research, Science and Technology
18 November 2009
EMBARGOED UNTIL 10PM 18 NOVEMBER
Recognition for outstanding work in science
The Government has awarded $100,000 in prize money to the recipient of Royal Society’s prestigious Rutherford Medal. The
move follows the establishment of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, recognising New Zealand’s most talented and
The Rutherford Medal is awarded each year by the Royal Society of New Zealand to a leading New Zealand scientist, in
honour of a lifetime of exceptional contribution to the advancement of science in New Zealand.
Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp presented the 2009 award to Professor Peter Hunter of the
University of Auckland at the Royal Society of New Zealand Science Honours Dinner in Auckland tonight.
“The funding is in addition to the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, which are worth a total of $1 million. In the past,
our scientists’ achievements have received little attention. This funding demonstrates the Government’s commitment to
celebrating their successes,” he said.
Professor Hunter is the head of the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland, Director of Computational
Physiology at Oxford University and holds honorary professorships at universities in Japan and Australia. Dr Mapp said
he was a worthy recipient of the Rutherford Medal.
“Peter Hunter’s international reputation is such that he could work anywhere in the world. It is New Zealand’s good
fortune that he has remained here. His stellar research record and commitment to supporting young researchers mean he
has made a huge contribution to this country.”
Professor Hunter is a world leader in the field of computer modelling of the way the human body works, from individual
genes through to organs such as the heart. His work is applied in a range of areas in health treatment and diagnostics.