Pasifika contributions to society were celebrated when Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board met for the first time in 2023, after earlier meetings were cancelled because of the city’s adverse weather events.
The meeting was the first opportunity the board had to formally acknowledge those recognised in the New Year Honours.
Board chair Apulu Reeece Autagavaia says the large number of awards for people in the south reflect the passion the people have for their area.
“We have seen Pasifika people honoured for outstanding services to their communities, and they can be rightly proud of the recognition bestowed on them.
“Many have been leaders in their communities for many years. There is a Samoan proverb: ‘O le ala i le pule o le tautua’ that means the pathway to leadership is through service. What these people have done underlines that service remains one of the key values in Pacific culture.”
Sullivan Luao Paea - ‘Sully’, as he is known, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to youth. He has been dedicated to improving the lives of Pacific youth in South Auckland since migrating to New Zealand from Niue in the late 1960s.
Dr Apisalome Sikaidoka Talemaitoga was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and the Pacific community. He is a trusted source for the community, explaining complex terms in an understandable way, and promoting long-term health.
Lisa-Jane Taouma was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific arts and the screen industry. She created the Polyfest series, the Pacific youth series ‘Fresh’, as well as ‘ Coconet TV’, which has connected Pacific peoples across the globe.
Charles Richard (Dick) Veitch was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to wildlife conservation after a long career with the Wildlife Service and Department of Conservation.
Sefita 'Alofi Hao’uli was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Tongan and Pacific communities. He has been influential in the development of Pacific broadcasting in New Zealand for more than 30 years.
Betty-Anne Maryrose Monga was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music as a musician and producer with Ardijah, which pioneered the mainstream popularity of Polynesian music in New Zealand.
Dr Janice Claire (Jan) Wright was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State and environment. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (2007-2017), she was also a respected Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate teacher.
Ma'a Brian Sagala was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to Pacific communities. He has been a producer and presenter of 531pi with the Pacific Media Network since 2015, and has used his profile to support Pacific communities.
Tofilau Nina Kirifi-Alai was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to education and the Pacific community. She was the Pacific Manager of the University of Otago for more than 20 years, focusing on engagement and the success of Pacific students.
Nemai Divuluki Vucago was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to Fijian and Pacific communities. A producer and presenter of the Radio 531pi Fijian Language Programme since 2003, she is also an Auckland Fiji Community executive member
Deputy Commissioner Glenn Murray Dunbier was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the New Zealand Police and community. He has served 37 years since joining in 1985, and led the implementation of recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct.
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