Queen’s Birthday honour ‘humbling, kind’ – Clint

Former Raglan district councillor and Waikato deputy mayor Clint Baddeley says it’s been “quite humbling and very emotional” to be made a Member of the  New Zealand Order of Merit in the just-announced Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The 70 year old – whose MNZM is for services to local government and the community – says the honour has come as a bit of a surprise and that “a lot of people have been very kind to me”.

He knew officially just two weeks ago he was getting the gong, and his wife Jackie – who he married in downtown Raglan 50 years ago – was the only other person he let in on the secret.

The MNZM citation covers a wide variety of roles in which Clint has served the Waikato over five decades.

Those roles range from his work as convener of the Council of Trade Unions in the Waikato for 10 years to stints as a Wintec board member, as chair of the Waikato Community Trust, as Raglan district councillor for 12 years and as deputy mayor for three years.

The citation also highlights Clint’s long-running music show on Raglan Community Radio, his co-establishment of Raglan junior soccer and his five years as a voluntary Raglan ambulance driver.

Clint – who’s lived in Raglan for the past 49 years – recalls it was difficult work as a top trade union organiser.  “You cop a lot of flak, you’re often public enemy No 1,” he says.

But he says he can look back on “some really good stuff too” in his various community service roles over the decades.

He’s most proud of what he describes as his “Wintec building work”, heading up a committee that spearheaded the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the tertiary educational institute’s Hamilton campus.

“We wanted to make it the best student centre in New Zealand and I think we did.”

Locally, Clint says, one of his greatest pleasures has been to see the success of Xtreme Zero Waste.

He adds he only went into council (as ward councillor) to “get a bit of stuff done”, and reflects it was “12 years of my life that was often quite difficult”.

Clint remains very proud of the weekly ‘Americana’ programme he’s hosted on local community radio for 20-odd years now. Though he’s in ill health these days the station’s longest-running show goes on, and he even broadcast from home during the lockdown.

The full citation for Clint’s MNZM reads:

“Mr Clint Baddeley has served the Waikato region in a variety of capacities over the last 50 years. Mr Baddeley was the Convenor of the Council of Trade Unions in the Waikato region for 10 years, becoming involved with some of New Zealand’s largest manufacturing and dairy companies. He has served on a variety of boards, including the national board of Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics New Zealand from 2005 to 2008, and the board of WorldSkills New Zealand from 2015 to 2018. He chaired the Building and Assets Committee of the Waikato Institute of Technology for nine years, overseeing a $100 million campus redevelopment. He was Deputy Mayor of the Waikato District Council from 2007 to 2010 and represented Raglan on the Council from 2004 to 2017. He chaired the Council’s strategy and Finance Committee for six years and chaired a committee formed between Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council to oversee boundary changes. He has been Chair of the Waikato Community Trust. Mr Baddeley has been a volunteer radio broadcaster for Raglan Community Radio for more than 20 years, co-established the Raglan junior football league, and was a driver for the Raglan Ambulance for five years.”

Edith Symes