HamiltonJet Chair recognised with New Year Honour

January 11, 2021 Albear Montocchio


Chair and Technical Director of HamiltonJet, Mike Hamilton, has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 New Year Honours List.

The grandson of HamiltonJet founder Sir William Hamilton OBE, Mike Hamilton  received the award for his services to marine engineering and business.

“Through his engineering involvement and business leadership, Mike has continued his grandfather’s and father’s compassionate, thoughtful and innovative approach to leading HamiltonJet through the challenges of modern-day business,” says HamiltonJet CEO Ben Reed. 

“He’s played a pivotal role in helping HamiltonJet to maintain its position as a widely regarded leader in the marine industry since HamiltonJet pioneered the commercialisation of waterjet propulsion in the late 1950s. I’m sure everyone in the HamiltonJet family couldn’t be more thrilled for Mike on this thoroughly-deserved honour.”


In 1990 Mike Hamilton designed a new generation of waterjet, far larger than anything to date. It marked a significant leap forward for the company’s capability to compete for waterjet propulsion packages in ships traditionally driven by propellers.

His contribution to the marine industry has also seen the emergence of specialist fleets of jet powered vessels in markets such as tourism, aquaculture, offshore oil fields, patrol, wind farms, search and rescue, and passenger ferries.

Privately he supports many charitable causes including the Coast Guard, Dingle Foundation, Christchurch City Mission, Starship, Pacific Leprosy, IHC, Fred Hollows, Banardos and others. He also supports children through Child Fund and the Variety Club.


Mike was also one of the lead jet boat drivers and the boat engineer for Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1977 Ocean to the Sky expedition up the length of the Ganges River and then on to the summit of a mountain peak at its source in the Himalayas.

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