Honours Ties have been awarded by King’s College since 1960 as a way to recognise Old Collegians for significant academic, sporting, cultural and community achievements, and services to King’s.
As a student, Tim was very much an all-rounder, involving himself in rowing, rugby, debating as well as the Glee Club and Parnell House productions. He was Head of Parnell house in his final year as well as School Prefect and Senior Sacristan.
Having been inspired by his English teacher, Mr Richard Williams, Tim went on to teach English himself both locally at Christ’s College, St Peter’s Cambridge and here at King’s, as well as internationally, at Gordonstoun School, Scotland and the prestigious Eton College in England.
Tim also had an extensive political career, having first forayed into the field when he contested the seat of Tauranga for the National Party in 2002. Although his first attempt did not see him take the seat, after a short stint as Chief Executive of Arts Waikato, Tim became the Member of Parliament for Hamilton West for National in 2008.
Over the years, he rose through the ranks and was appointed Minister of Customs, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Transport under Prime Minister Sir Bill English in 2017.
Tim has also been heavily involved in his community as an active supporter of Hamilton’s ethnic organisations and working closely with many school boards and local charities especially in advocacy work and fundraising.
In his address to the students, Tim imparted seven lessons he had accumulated throughout his life:
Reflecting on his varied involvements at King’s, he encouraged students to “Give as many things as you can a go.”
He recognised that being a student at King’s was a significant privilege that should not be taken for granted and quoted, “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). Having received such opportunities, there is a greater expectation to use them to do good unto others in society.
Tim suggested that one such way of doing good is to “Consider teaching as a career,” acknowledging the commitment and passion of the members of staff seated behind him that “don’t become teachers to make a billion dollars”.
He also shared the challenges of losing his job when National lost the election in 2017 and his determination not to let it stop him, believing that “failure is one of life’s most valuable experiences”.
Reassuring students that they still have many years ahead of them, Tim advised, “Enjoy your school years and celebrate successes but do not let your time at King’s limit or define you” as there are many better times ahead.
For Tim, one of these times is being a husband and father - roles he cherishes and consider some of the most important that he has and ever will serve. Accordingly, he urged students that, “In years to come, be the best partner, friend and parent you can be.”
Concluding his address, he left a final pearl of wisdom, instructing that above all, “Do your best and do what you believe to be right but be prepared to be wrong and you will gain respect, even from your opponents.”
Tim’s address was met with deafening applause and an emotive delivery of the school haka by the student body.