A Brief History of Prominent Zonta Member:
Dame Adrienne Stewart QSM, Club of Christchurch Canterbury


  • Long serving member of Zonta
  • Zonta International District 16 – Woman of the Biennium 2009-2011
  • Governing patron of the Arts and Industry Trust
  • Chair of the CSO Foundation
  • Governing Patron of the SCAPE Public Art Trust
  • Arts Foundation Patron of the Year (2009)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Canterbury University (2011)
  • Distinguished Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors
  • Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management
  • Patron of the Court Theatre Supporters’
  • Queens Service Medal for services to the community (1995)
  • Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the community (2006)
  • ASB Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2014)
  • NZ Business Hall of Fame Laureate (2014)
  • Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the arts and business (2015)

Adrienne was 19 when she started at the then small manufacturing company Plastics Diecasting (PDL) as personal assistant to Sir Robertson Stewart – who would later become her husband. Under their leadership PDL Industries became one of the country’s largest and best-known manufacturers and exporters, with a strong presence in Malaysia and across the Pacific. The Stewarts sold PDL Industries in 2001 to French firm Schneider Electric. But her involvement in the Christchurch business world stretched much further than PDL.

She was one of New Zealand’s first female public company directors, and the first woman on the board of the New Zealand Institute of Management, Christchurch. As chairwoman of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, Christchurch, she took the organisation from “dormant” with a membership of 10, to a thriving 400-strong membership during her term of office.