Comment permalink




For services to animal welfare and conservation.

Dunedin’s Wildlife Hospital founder and director Lisa Argilla is surprised and overwhelmed after receiving an MNZM for services to animal welfare and conservation.

"I’ve always looked at the honours and the people who receive them every year, and thought these people are amazing with the things they’ve achieved and done.

"I never considered I’d potentially be among these people, so I’m truly humbled."

Dr Argilla said founding the Wildlife Hospital in 2018 was her proudest achievement.

"It was my concept and idea, but it was definitely not something I could have achieved alone.

"I’ve had such an amazing group of people behind me, to help and support that."

Since opening, the hospital has treated more than 1300 animals across 63 different species, and more than 34% of patients were classified as nationally threatened.

Between 2011 and 2015, she was veterinary science manager at Wellington Zoo, where she played a pivotal role in establishing a world-class native wildlife treatment facility and began her involvement with the Kea Conservation Trust.

She has volunteered with the kakapo and takahe recovery groups, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Trust and the Department of Conservation over the past 12 years.

She provided hand-rearing and veterinary support during the 2016 kakapo breeding season, and she is well known for her successful treatment of Happy Feet (the emperor penguin), which was stranded in New Zealand on its way back to the Antarctic in 2011.

For her services to the environment, she also won a Wellingtonian of the Year award in 2011.



For services to philanthropy and conservation

Remarkables Station owners Dick and Jillian Jardine have given a significant amount of land in the Wakatipu Basin for the purposes of education, conservation and recreation.

Last month, they announced they would give almost all of their landmark high country station — 900 hectares of freehold land — to the QEII National Trust in 2022.

The handover date will coincide with the 100th anniversary of their family’s ownership of the land, which will be placed under a covenant in the coming months that will protect it in perpetuity.

It will be managed by the trust as a working farm.

"Having QEII as the caretaker of this property gives us the comfort and assurance to proudly pass over this gift for all New Zealand to enjoy and appreciate," Mr Jardine said at the ceremony to announce the gift.

The area to be given encompasses 9ha of land the couple gave to the trust in 2013. Known as the Jardine Boulders, it is known for glacial boulders that are popular with rock climbers.

In 2016, the Jardines gave their former home and the 4ha lakefront site it sits on to the University of Otago, which is plans to develop the property as an academic research retreat.

That was not the couple’s first act of charity for the university; in 2012, they organised a fundraising event for a neurology chair.

They have also supported cultural activities in Queenstown, including making a significant contribution to the establishment and development of the Lakes Music School "Turn Up the Music".

The couple were unavailable for comment on their New Year Honours.



For services to the trade union movement.

For more than 30 years, Jim Kelly has advocated for equitable treatment of workers in New Zealand, particularly in the rail industry.

Despite his many achievements and long-term commitment to the sector, he was very surprised when he learned he would receive an MNZM for services to the trade union movement.

"I’m over the moon. It’s very humbling to get something like this. I’m in good company, absolutely."

Mr Kelly was president of the Combined Union of Railway Employees from 1990 until 1995, when it amalgamated into the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

He was then elected as national president of the RMTU from 1990 until 2011.

During that time, he was involved in many changes that affected the industry, including wage, welfare and health and safety changes.

Mr Kelly was also vice-chairman and advocate for workers whose unions were affiliates with the Council of Trade Unions, at regional and national levels.

He also represented New Zealand workers at international forums on workers’ welfare and safety.

In 2002, he led the development and establishment of a memorial in Dunedin for workers who were killed while at work.

In recognition of his efforts, he was made a life member of the RMTU.

More recently, Mr Kelly was a community leader in the 2012 and 2016 campaigns to save the Hillside workshops in South Dunedin.

He worked with local engineering businesses and the Otago Chamber of Commerce to negotiate with KiwiRail from a community perspective.

He has also organised an annual event to recognise New Zealand’s ongoing campaign to eliminate workplace fatalities.



For services to the deaf community and education

When Josephina (Josje) Lelijveld learned she was to become a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit it brought a tear to her eye.

The recently retired 65-year-old said she was thankful for the acknowledgement of her advocacy for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) nationally and regionally.

"I’m proud of being deaf, I’m proud of being a strong woman," Mrs Lelijveld said.

Mrs Lelijveld has supported the New Zealand Sign Language Teachers Association on many fronts.

She was instrumental in the development of Level 2 of the association’s teaching resource Teach Sign.

She has been NZSL senior tutor for the University of Canterbury postgraduate diploma specialist teaching programme.

She trained as one of the original evaluators and interviewers for the NZSL Proficiency Interview. She joined the NZSL Experts Advisory Group in 2013 and served on the NZSL board from 2015 to 2018.

She was vice-president of the Deaf Society of Canterbury from 2005 to 2015 and helped secure a new clubroom building for the society after the Canterbury earthquakes.

She relocated from Christchurch to support the deaf community in Dunedin, where she established community classes through the University of Otago and worked to strengthen the relationship between the Otago Association of Deaf Children and the Otago Deaf Society.

She has served on several advisory groups and boards including the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme and the Christchurch City Council Disability Advisory Group.

Mrs Lelijveld has also worked with van Asch Deaf Education Centre, now known as Ko Taku Reo, Workbridge, Deaf Aotearoa, and New Zealand Relay.

All these achievements, she said, would not have been possible without the support of her husband Flip Leijten.


Te Anau

For services to the tourism industry and conservation

Conservation has been the crux of Paul Gerard Norris’ 28-year-long career in tourism, during which he has introduced and overseen a variety of conservation support initiatives.

With one foot in tourism and the other in conservation, Mr Norris helped visitors "gain more and do more" in some of New Zealand’s World Heritage sites.

Mr Norris had worked with the Department of conservation to facilitate expeditions where passengers carried out volunteer work in Fiordland.

In his efforts, he raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various conservation projects.

Originally from Pukerua Bay, near Wellington, Mr Norris moved to Te Anau where he worked in the ski industry for five years before starting at Real Journeys, a major South Island tourism company known for its conservation values.

Although Mr Norris had always been interested in conservation, he became actively involved when starting at Real Journeys.

"I’m fortunate to work for an organisation that wants to share these areas with people, but in such a way that continues to protect it for the next generation to enjoy," he said.

His biggest satisfaction was the idea he helped influence "good decisions for the betterment of the community" and had connected people with conservation.

As Predator Free Rakiura chairman, Mr Norris only hoped the honour would help as he continued to work in conservation areas, not just at a local level but a national level too.



For services to Pacific arts and the community

For Pauline Smith, becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit is recognition of not only her work, but that of an entire team.

Chairwoman of the Miharo Murihiku Trust, previously the Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Trust Cultural Trust, Mrs Smith was a founding member of the first Murihiku Polyfest in 2009.

This led to the establishment of the Murihiku Maori and Pasifika Cultural Trust in 2010, to make it an annual event.

It had since grown to a week-long event including an annual art exhibition, community projects, art workshops for educators, youth and arts mentoring, with more than 7500 Pacific, Maori and youth of all ethnicities performing to 40,000 attendees.

She said while she was proud of the growth, she was more so of the grown appreciation of Maori and Pacifika culture.

"Because its so visible in a really positive way, it becomes really valued."

While the award had her name on it, she said it carried the name of Miharo and the Polynesian Panthers.

In 2019, she supported Fafine Niutao I Aotearoa, a group of elderly Tuvalu kolose (crochet) artists, to travel from Auckland to attend the festival in Invercargill.

She also authored the book Dawn Raid in 2018 for Scholastic’s My New Zealand Story series, highlighting the controversial raids on alleged Pacific overstayers and the activist work of the Polynesian Panthers, along with an education package to accompany the book.

Dawn Raid won the Best First Book Award at the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

The book also led into the "Polynesian Panthers" exhibition, which Mrs Smith spearheaded and has toured several main centres in New Zealand.



For services to Pacific education and public health research

For more than 20 years, Tasileta Teevale has lent her talents to the public service sector and academia.

Her research has centred on Pacific youth health and education, sports, physical activity and public health in relation to Pacific peoples in Aotearoa.

Dr Teevale’s research has included a large school-based weight management intervention and the Youth2000 survey series, a national study of the health and wellbeing of New Zealand youth.

She played a pivotal role in the establishment of the University of Otago’s Pacific Development Office, of which she has been director since inception, and she has been responsible for monitoring and implementing the progress of the Pacific Strategic Framework 2013 to 2020 university-wide.

This work has led to the establishment of Associate Dean Pacific roles in each academic division, a Pacific leadership group, support for the student voice in university governance and the creation of Pacific student associations.

She led research into enablers and barriers to Pacific student achievement, which resulted in the development of a credit-bearing university preparation programme for first-year Pacific students. She is a founding member of the Universities New Zealand Pacific Komiti.

Dr Teevale has advised the public service sector on the Ministry of Education Summit, Ministry of Pacific Peoples Vision Summit and reviews of NCEA, Tomorrow’s Schools and NZQA.





For services to the Pacific community

Receiving a QSM for services to the Pacific community is a thrill and an honour, but Lester Dean says the real reward has come from helping Pacific Island people stand on their own two feet.

"For me, it’s really not about me. It’s about recognising our Pacific community in Otago and Southland.

"We are an important part of the economic and social life of the provinces, and my roll has been to galvanise Pacific people to be part of the community here."

The retired Kew School and New River School principal has been chief executive officer of Pacific Trust Otago (PTO) since 2014, and served the region’s Pacific communities during a period of financial uncertainty.

Mr Dean has kept PTO in operation and maintained services of a high quality by restructuring and seeking alternative commercial and business income streams.

This has included a joint venture with a local business to establish a container housing business called Pacific Pods Ltd, which aims to provide affordable dwellings and government stations throughout the Pacific.

Mr Dean was also general manager of the Pacific Island Advisory and Cultural Trust (PIACT) — a Pacific health and social services provider and support hub, delivering free services to the local community — in Invercargill from 2011 until 2014.

Other achievements include helping to establish an early childhood centre for Pacific children in 2001, a homework and after school programme at a Pacific Island church in the 1990s, the establishment of the Toa Scholarship programme for year 12 and 13 Pacific pupils in Otago, and instigating a project to construct two traditional vaka at PTO.

He continues to teach the Cook Islands language in Dunedin.



For services to the community and local government

Southland district councillor Paul Duffy felt surprise and disbelief after learning he had received a Queen’s Service Medal.

He then felt "a mixture of pride and humility knowing that everything I have been involved in has been with other people as a team", Mr Duffy said.

"I wouldn’t have got much done on my own.

"The support and help of my wife Alison and family, especially when I was full-time farming, enabled me to put time into other activities," he said.

He has been involved in many Southland community organisations, projects and committees for the past 20 years.

He is in his seventh term as a district councillor, having served two terms as deputy mayor.

He has chaired the South Catlins Charitable Trust since 2013, and has overseen the trust’s construction of a Heritage Centre with an interpretation centre at Curio Bay in the Catlins.

He also chairs the Southland Regional Heritage Committee, and is a member of Toi Tois Tokanui Lions.

He was on the Community Trust of Southland board (1991-99), and chaired the Edendale Jubilee committee.

He chairs Arts Murihiku, and served two terms of the board of Sister Cities New Zealand.

He served on the boards of trustees of two schools for a total of 18 years, twelve of those as chairman.

He is a life member of the Southland Otago Ayrshire Club and honorary life member of the New Zealand Ayrshire Association.



For services to the community and public health

Anna Dyzel has been involved with projects for Girl Guides, Scouts, St John, and seeding community service opportunities for the Department of Corrections for nearly 30 years.

She was instrumental in setting up a major event for New Zealand’s Children’s Day, which she initially largely funded herself, and which has grown to an event that has more than 2000 people attend free of charge, and arranges fundraising events during the year to help fund the event.

Dr Dyzel has run the Hokitika Christmas Parade for 15 years and more recently led the fundraising of $20,000 for revamped town Christmas lights.

She was instrumental in the establishment of a now well-used skateboard park in Hokitika.

She supports the Westland Industrial Heritage Park, Hokitika Heritage Inc., the Life Education Trust, and is a member of the Wildfoods Festival committee.

Dr Dyzel has been a general practitioner in Hokitika since the early 1990s and has conducted research on growing a sustainable health workforce in Hokitika for doctors and nurses. She developed standing orders for rural GPs, which have been adopted by district health boards around the country as well as the Best Practice Advocacy Centre.

Dr Dyzel said "as an immigrant to New Zealand from South Africa, being awarded the QSM was a fantastic honour".

Writing funding applications was part of her focus in assisting the community with various projects, and if the QSM contributed to a successful outcome, "it would be fantastic", she said.



For services to sport, particularly netball

Angela Keenan has contributed to netball in Hokitika in a variety of roles, including as president, secretary and coaching co-ordinator for the Hokitika Netball Centre since 1984.

Mrs Keenan has co-ordinated coaching programmes for coaches, players and umpires for 20 years, attended the New Zealand netball championships as a senior coach and U15 coach, and was the centre’s secretary for five years.

She has organised the netball summer fitness programme every summer for 15 years, which has involved fundraising for equipment and venue costs, organising sessions, liaising with schools to promote the programme, and running the sessions themselves.

Mrs Keenan has organised junior basketball for the Westland Basketball Association since 2006 and been running for the Hokitika Athletic Club since 2004.

She was driver of the development of a new sports complex at Westland High School and chaired the complex’s committee after local government funding was approved.

Mrs Keenan said, "I love working with youth and watching their growth, both personal and sports-wise, encouraging them to develop to their potential at whatever level they want."

Mrs Keenan was made a life member of the Old Girls Netball Club in 2010.



For services to the community

Stuart Paterson’s efforts within Maniototo Health Services have helped support better quality healthcare services in Ranfurly.

As chairman of Maniototo Health Services during its $7million re-development project, Mr Paterson stepped up at a critical time.

He took on the responsibility of managing the fundraising and building of a new healthcare facility for the people of the Maniototo, which officially opened in 2019.

He was Maniototo Health Services chairman from 2010 until the end of 2012 and resumed the role from 2015 until the present.

For more than 30 years, from 1981 to 2016, Mr Paterson was secretary of the Gimmerburn Domain Board.

As the past president of Maniototo Lions Club, he helped organise one of its largest fundraising events, the annual gift lamb competition.

He has been a trustee of the GG Scott Trust, which has distributed funds related to health, education and sport in the local area, since 2008.

Mr Paterson said he was surprised to receive the award as he believed he played only a small part in the various community projects he was involved with.



For services to heritage rose preservation

Abbotsford resident Fran Rawling was "a bit blown away" to learn she had
been awarded a Queen’s Service Medal.

"It’s great that it’s getting the work of rose restoration out to the public," Mrs Rawling said of the award.

She has been involved with Heritage Roses New Zealand Incorporated (HRNZI) since 1997.

"I believe in keeping them, they’re part of our history, and New Zealand’s national heritage," she said.

Her award also recognised the wider team work to save heritage roses, which had been brought to New Zealand since 1814.

She is currently the Otago convener of HRNZI, lead member of the New Zealand National Heritage Rose Register team, and has been the New Zealand representative to the World Federation of Rose Societies conservation and heritage committee since 2017. She was also national president (2001-07 and 2010-13).

She organised a seminar for heritage roses public collection curators including New Zealand’s botanic gardens last year.

She was the key driver of the restoration of the Dunedin Northern Cemetery and led the restoration of a collection of heritage roses from when the Victorian era cemetery was active.

This collection has since become a national base for the preservation and conservation of heritage roses introduced into New Zealand.

She has organised, supervised and worked on several beautification and conservation plantings in Otago, including maintenance of the Dunedin Northern Cemetery.


Where is Toby Stoff in all this?, why didn't he get any recognition?, he should have received a knighthood at the very least.



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter