Meda McKenzie

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Meda-Therese McKenzie MBE (born 1963), generally known as Meda McKenzie, is a former New Zealand long-distance swimmer, who was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.[1]

At fifteen she swam Cook Strait, and later (in 1978) swam it in the opposite direction. She also swam Foveaux Strait; and in England the English Channel and a double crossing of the Bristol Channel.

After retiring to raise two children, she returned after five years to swim across Lake Erie in Canada, and two firsts: the first double crossing of Cook Strait by a woman and a circumnavigation of Rarotonga.

In the 1978 Queen's Birthday Honours, McKenzie was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for being the first New Zealand woman to swim the Cook Strait in both directions.[2]


  • Ron Palenski (2002). Profiles of Fame: The Stories of New Zealand’s Greatest Sports Achievers. New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. p. 29. ISBN 0-473-08536-4.
  1. ^ Sports Hall of Fame website
  2. ^ "No. 47551". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1978. p. 6271.