Pacifica women strong on New Year’s Honours

Pacifica women strong on New Year’s Honours

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Wellington, December 31, 2018

Pacific women feature strongly in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list in recognition of their diverse contribution to Pacific Aotearoa in a range of fields including literature, fashion, mental health, youth development, sports, leadership and governance,” Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio has said. 

He issued the following Statement today.

Society’s strength

Our women have traditionally been the backbone of our diverse Pacific communities and the New Year’s honours list once again reflects that they continue to be the strength of Pacific society today.

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Associate Professor Selina Tusitala Marsh has received the ONZM for services to poetry, literature and the Pacific community.

Dr Marsh’s 2009 book the ‘Fast Talking PI’ and her ‘Unity’ poem, which she recited in front of the Royal Family at London’s Westminster Abbey for the 2016 Commonwealth Service are stand out pieces of work that put her in a class of her own, as a new-age trailblazer and a modern-day navigator in the field of poetry and literature in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific region.

Dr Karlo Estelle Mila

Dr Karlo Estelle Mila has received the MNZM for her services to the Pacific community and as a poet.

Her research and examination of Pacific cultural identities of New Zealand-born Pacific peoples has helped to break down communication barriers and to better inform debate on mental health in Pacific communities.

Tukua Turia

Tukua Turia is a recognised expert on Tivaevae, which is traditional Cook Island quilt-making has received a MNZM for services to Cook Islands art and culture.

Mama Tukua recently led the Kuki ‘Airani Creative Mamas group in a collaboration project with fashion designer Karen Walker on a uniquely designed Tivaevae dress which was displayed at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition at Buckingham Palace and was later acquired by Te Papa Museum.

Her talent is so sought after, that the British Museum commissioned her to do a special Tivaevae for them, which she gifted on behalf of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

Jan Joseph Tupuola Peterson

Amongst the list of Pacific honour recipients was Lieutenant Commander Jan Joseph Tupuola Peterson, of Samoan heritage, who received the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration for services to the New Zealand Defence Force.

I am absolutely confident that our communities in both New Zealand and the Pacific region will be very proud of the depth and breadth of contribution these Pacific recipients have made and will continue to make to Aotearoa.

The recipients

ONZM

Associate Professor Selina Tusitala Marsh, for services to poetry, literature and the Pacific community

MNZM

Vaine Arai Areora for services to the Cook Islands Community and Sport

Luisa Avaiki for Services to Rugby League

Annette Cherie Fale for Services to Youth and Pacific Peoples

Tanu Daniel Gago for Services to Art and the LGBTIQ+ Community

Dr Karlo Estelle Mila for Services to the Pacific Community and as a Poet

Dr Arbutus Mitikulena for Services to Health and the Pacific Community

Vic Henery Tamati for services to the prevention of family violence

Tukua Turia for services to Cook Islands Art and Culture

Mele Luisa Wendt for services to governance, the Pacific Community and Women

QSM

Salamina Kaliatama Leolahi for Services to the Niuean Community

Paul Hifo Ma’afu for Services to the Pacific Community

Derek Teariki for Services to the Cook Islands Community

Reverend Tauinaola Tofilau for Services to the Pacific Community

Reverend Penesikoto Togiatama for Services to the Niuean Community

DSD

Lieutenant Commander Jan Joseph Tupuola Peterson for Services to the New Zealand Defence Force

Aupito William Sio
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