Richard Michael Hill - CNZM
When fire claimed his family home in 1979, Whangarei jeweller Michael Hill's life changed forever. He opened his first shop in opposition to his uncle, for whom he worked.
Within eight years his selling techniques had spread far and wide. When his company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 1987, it had 10 stores, including one in Brisbane. By 2007 the Michael Hill Jeweller chain had 192 stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Hill's passion for the violin led to the creation the annual Michael Hill World Violin Competition, a major event for emerging violists.
In 2007 he sponsored the New Zealand golf open at his private course on his Queenstown property.