Te Awamutu to honour politician, researcher

​9 August 2017

Two of Waipa’s most lauded citizens are to be honoured with inclusion in the Te Awamutu Walk of Fame.

Dr Graham Jamieson (posthumously) and Mrs Katherine O’Regan, QSO, will be inducted by Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest later this month.  They will join a list of 23 other citizens who have already distinguished themselves nationally and internationally in a range of fields.

Mrs O’Regan was born at Te Mata and has been a long-time Te Awamutu and district resident, serving as both a local and central government politician. In 1977 she was the first woman elected to the (then) Waipa County Council, serving for eight years.  She was elected to parliament in 1984 and in 1990 was appointed Minister of Consumer Affairs plus Associate Ministers of Health, Social Welfare and Women’s Affairs. She held those roles until 1996 when the Waipa seat was abolished.

Mrs O’Regan was returned to parliament in 1996 as a list Member of Parliament until 1999 when she retired. In 2002, she was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for public services.

Mrs O’Regan has also made a significant contribution outside politics.  She is a Justice of the Peace, has served on the Family Planning New Zealand Council and was the Chairwoman of the Human Ethics in Research Committee at Wintec as well as a member of the NZ Law Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty Complaints Committee.  

Closer to home, she chaired the Te Awamutu Community Public Relations Association and was a founding member of the Te Awamutu Community Health Transport service.

Dr Graham Jamieson grew up in Te Awamutu and attended Te Awamutu College before earning a Master of Science degree from Otago University in 1951. He went on to receive a PhD and Doctorate in Science from the University of London. Research fellowships took him to the University of Stockholm, Cornell Medical College in New York and the National Institute of Health in Maryland.

In 1961 Dr Jamieson joined the American Red Cross blood service as a biochemist in its transfusion blood research and development programme, becoming research director in 1969. His research, including the use of pioneering computer technology, saw him win numerous national and international awards. His discoveries had major impacts on the treatment of blood diseases internationally, especially in hepatitis.

Dr Jamieson retired in 1999 after an extraordinary scientific career and died in 2008.  The American Red Cross has established the Graham A Jamieson Lectureship in Blood Research in his honour.

Mayor Mylchreest said it would be an honour and a privilege to induct both Mrs O’Regan and Dr Jamieson and that he was “humbled” by the achievements of both.  

​The ceremony will be held at the Te Awamutu Walk of Fame in Selwyn Park at 2pm on Thursday August 17 and will be followed by a private afternoon function.

Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell 027 5077 599

Photo: Dr Graham Jamieson​​

Graham Jamieson - Te Awamutu Walk of Fame.jpg

Photo: Katherine O'Regan

Katherine O'Regan Te Awamutu Walk of Fame.jpg

Page reviewed: 09 Aug 2017 3:37pm