Lisa Carrington made Dame in New Year Honours

By Marena Mane

Above: Māori Sports Awards interview with Te Ao Toa.

Aotearoa's most successful olympian Lisa Carrington has been appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to canoe racing.

Above: Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Lisa Carrington / Māori Television

Dame Lisa Carrington (Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) has won six Olympic medals, five gold and one bronze, a total of 23 medals throughout her olympic career.

“This is a huge honour. I feel incredibly humbled to be named alongside so many other amazing New Zealanders,” says Carrington.

Carrington won her first Olympic gold medal in the K1 200 metres at the 2012 Olympic Games, and repeated the feat at the 2016 Olympics, also winning gold in the K1 500 metres.

Her third Olympic appearance came at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games; she competed in 12 events over six days, winning gold in the K1 200 metres, K1 500 metres, and the K2 500 metres alongside teammate Caitlin Regal. The medal haul making her the first female triple gold medalist from Aotearoa at any Olympic Games.

Carrington has 10 world championship gold medals to her credit, including seven consecutive K1 200m titles.

The Honours unit of cabinet praised Carrington's work with Canoe Racing New Zealand (CRNZ) to grow the sport by supporting and instructing young paddlers at her home club in Ōhope.

Carrington's achievements, profile, and sharing of funding derived from her performances contributed to the success and survival of CRNZ's Performance Programme. Since 2017 it's allowed the organisation to sustain itself; providing more opportunities for athletes.

The damehood is just the latest accolade for Carrington. Earlier this year she was honored by the 'Māori Sports Awards 30 in 30' as the most influential Māori Sports Personality of the previous 30 years.

“This is special because not only is it an acknowledgement of the work I’ve done and things I've achieved so far in my career, but it’s also a tribute to all the people who support me in what I do”.

Carrington told NZME the honours news had been a bit of a tough secret to keep, she'd only managed to speak to her fiance.

"It was a letter from the honours office, saying you are being considered for this honour and would you accept it,"

"I just had a look and was like 'Wow'. And then I had a chat with Bucky [fiance Michael Buck] about it, because it's highly confidential." she said.

Honours and Awards:

Halberg High-Performance Sportswoman of the Decade, 2021 

Halberg Awards, Sportswoman of the Year, 2016 

Halberg Awards, Supreme Award, 2016 

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2013

Photo credit: Māori Sports Awards 2019

This year’s New Year Honours List includes 183 people who have been recognised for serving their community or a significant achievement and out of the 183 people, 26 are Māori and 15 are Pasifika.

Compared to last year’s 2021 New Year Honours List, only 154 people were recognised and out of those 154 people, only 13 were Māori and 8 were Pasifika.

The complete New Year's Honours List can be viewed here.