Rob Hamill

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Rob Hamil
MNZM
Medium-sized man with short brown hair wearing a maroon shirt and black jacket behind a desk on a purple background.
Green candidate for
Taranaki-King Country in the 2008 general election
Election date
8 November 2008
Opponent(s) Shane Ardern, Renée van de Weert, William Izard and Iain Parker
Incumbent Shane Ardern
Personal details
Born (1964-01-04) 4 January 1964 (age 50)
Whakatane, New Zealand
Nationality  New Zealand
Political party Green
Spouse(s) Rachel
Children Finlay, Declan and Ivan[1]
Residence Te Pahu
Sport Rowing
Website www.robhamill.com

Robert Miles (Rob) Hamill, MNZM, (born 1964) is a New Zealand rower and political candidate. His brother was killed by the Khmer Rouge in 1978.

He came to public attention when, in 1994, he won a silver medal in the World Rowing Championships. He went on to win the first Atlantic Rowing Race in 1997.

Hamill was a candidate at the 2008 general election for the Green Party. However, he was not elected.

His oldest brother, Kerry, was imprisoned and killed by members of the Khmer Rouge, after straying into Cambodian waters. Rob testified in court against the leader of the prison, Duch, in 2009.

Early life[edit]

Rob Hamill was born on 4 January 1964 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty.[2]

Hamill considers boxer Muhammad Ali his role model, "his skill, athleticism, courage, arrogance and self-belief all had a huge influence."[3]

Rowing career[edit]

Hamill competed for New Zealand in the 1994 World Rowing Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, winning a silver medal.[4]

Hamill also took part in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics on behalf of New Zealand.[5]

Atlantic Rowing Race[edit]

He is most well known for his winning of the inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race with Phil Stubbs in 1997, with a world record time of forty-one days, two hours and fifty-five minutes.[6][7] Hamill was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, however Stubbs died in a plane crash before officially receiving the honour.[8] Hamill wrote a book about this experience, The Naked Rower.[9][10] In the next two such races, in 2001 and 2003, Hamill managed the New Zealand teams who won those races.[11]

Other involvements[edit]

Hamill achieved a world record[which?] on an indoor rowing machine,[12] and established and co-organises The Great Race.[5][13] He also set up a trans-Tasman race in 2008,[11] which he hopes to become biennial,[14] and manages rowing teams.[15]

Politics[edit]

Jeanette Fitzsimons wearing an orange t-shirt, in front of Rob Hamil in a green shirt and holding an orange rowing oar. They are on the seashore.
Rob Hamill with former Green Party co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons

Hamill stood in the Taranaki-King Country electorate in the New Zealand general election, 2008 for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and at 56 on the Green party list.[4] He came third, with 8.41% of the vote, and losing to the incumbent, National's Shane Ardern.[16] However, he stated that his intention was not to win the seat, and did not "think that would be realistic." but campaigned for the Green party vote.[17] Hamill describes the Green Party as "the only party with a commitment to driving policy towards a sustainable future".[18]

Hamill is a supporter of New Zealand becoming a republic, endorsing Member of Parliament Keith Locke's Head of State Referenda Bill, a private member's bill.[19]

Hamill was an ambassador for WWF's Earth Hour in 2010.[20]

He is a member of the WEL Energy Trust,[21] and is considering standing for Environment Waikato in the 2010 local body elections.[22]

Brother's death[edit]

While on a trip from Singapore to Bangkok,[23] Hamill's older brother, Kerry, was captured, tortured, interrogated and killed in the S-21 prison by the Khmer Rouge in 1978,[24] after being caught in a storm on his yacht, Foxy Lady,[25] and straying into Cambodian waters.[26] He was aged 28 at the time of his death.[27] Hamill was 14 when he learned of his brother's fate.[28] The news of his brother's fate caused Hamill's other older brother, John, to commit suicide.[29] In July 2009 Hamill testified against Duch, the leader of the prison,[30] in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and Kerry Hamill's alleged killer,[13] who was on trial for crimes against humanity and premeditated murder.[26] Hamill called the experience as "going to be quite scary"[31] and "an opportunity to find [information] out",[32] but stipulated that he is against the death penalty, and did not want to see Duch killed,[33] but that an ideal sentence would be forty years of imprisonment, "anything less than that would be a victory to the [Duch] defence team, I suspect".[34]

Hamill also wants to research Kerry's last few days in Northern Territory, asking Darwinians for any "precious" information about him, saying that "just anything would help".[34][35]

Aftermath[edit]

Hamill's search for his brother's story has been made into a documentary film entitled Brother Number 1,[24] funded by New Zealand on Air and TV3, and the New Zealand Film Commission, directed by Annie Goldson, and produced by Hamill, Goldson and James Bellamy.[36] It was pitched at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto.[37]

The death of his brother, Kerry, inspired him to become an ambassador of WWF and to oppose human trafficking.[38][39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rob Hamill". Kiwi Sport Rewards. 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Rob Hamill". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Hamill, Rob; Whyte, Rob; Wall, Michael (2003) [2000]. "The Ali Way". The Naked Rower. Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand: Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 1-86958-766-9. 
  4. ^ a b "Rob Hamill to Stand for the Green Party" (Press release). Green Party. 14 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Pepperell, Susan (5 April 2009). "Brotherly love: Rob Hamill wants justice for brother killed by Khmer Rouge". The Sunday Star-Times. Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rower Rob Hamill turns attention to Cambodian genocide trial". 3 News. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rob Hamill". Talent Online. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Barber, Fiona (31 December 1998). "Stubbs died knowing of his award". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Naked Rower : How Two Kiwis Took on the Atlantic—and Won!". Amazon.com. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Mager, Darrel; New Zealand Press Association (22 March 2000). "Rower feared mate would kill". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Aussie challenge for four in a row". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. 29 January 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Cool Kiwis: Rob Hamill". Ministry of Education. December 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Hamill set to testify at Khmer Rouge trial" (Press release). Pan Pacific Films. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Eriksen, Alanah May (30 January 2008). "An oarsome challenge of two bridges". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Ash, Julie (21 December 2005). "Shark terrorises NZ rowing pair". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "Official Count Results – Taranaki-King Country". Elections New Zealand. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "Hamill puts on celebrity Green face". Waikato Times. 14 October 2008. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Trans-Atlantic rower Rob Hamill stands for Greens". The New Zealand Herald. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  19. ^ Hubbard, Anthony (28 February 2010). "Stars back poll on NZ republic". The Sunday Star-Times. Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "Helen Clark urges all Kiwis to take part in Earth Hour 2010" (Press release). World Wide Fund for Nature. 5 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Rob Hamill". WEL Energy Trust. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  22. ^ Holloway, Bruce (20 March 2010). "Hamill's passion still in water around him". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  23. ^ Johns, Bryce (21 August 2009). "Editorial: Rob Hamill's act of courage". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  24. ^ a b Neems, Jeff (18 August 2009). "Rob Hamill faces brother's killer". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  25. ^ "Brother Number One – About the film". Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Rob Hamill to be heard at Khmer Rouge trial". New Zealand Press Association. The New Zealand Herald. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  27. ^ "Khmer Rouge trial may see justice for slain NZer". The New Zealand Herald. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  28. ^ "Rob Hamill confronts his brother's killer". New Zealand Press Association. Stuff.co.nz. 18 August 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Phare, Jane (29 November 2009). "Khmer Rouge torturer asked to confess his crimes in full". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Hamill confronts Khmer Rouge commander". New Zealand Press Association and ONE News. Television New Zealand. 18 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  31. ^ "Kiwi rower heads to Cambodia to find justice". ONE News. Television New Zealand. 9 August 2009. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  32. ^ Boulet, Robbie Corey (18 August 2009). "Rob Hamill's post-testimony interview". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "Hamill does NOT want to kill Duch". Rob Hamill. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "Hamill seeks clues to murdered brother's last days". The New Zealand Herald. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  35. ^ Hainke, Nadja (16 July 2010). "Khmer murder leads to quest". Northern Territory News. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  36. ^ "NZ on Air to fund Rob Hamill's doco on his brother". Radio Live. 3 News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  37. ^ "Brother Number One to be pitched at Hotdocs" (Press release). Pan Pacific Pictures. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  38. ^ "Rob Hamill". WWF. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  39. ^ "Rob Hamill helps to raise awareness of Trafficking". Hagar. 5 April 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 

External links[edit]