King's Birthday honours: Local recipients

Profiles of all the Southern recipients from this year's King's Birthday honours list.  




‘Privileged’ to work alongside tuatara


Emeritus Prof Alison Marion Cree

For services to herpetology

Alison Cree says people make good company, but long-living tuatara are great companions if you are lucky enough to work with them.

The 63-year-old retired University of Otago zoology emeritus professor has been awarded a CNZM for services to herpetology — in particular, for her work with tuatara.

She said it felt unusual to study an animal that had a longer lifespan than hers.

"In a way, I feel privileged to work alongside an animal that has quite a similar life history to humans, in terms of the time to maturity and potential lifespan.

"It’s been a great opportunity to work alongside particular individual tuatara and get to know them over a decade or more and get to know their personalities.

"It feels like they’ve been companions in my life, actually."

Unlike most King’s Birthday Honours recipients, Prof Cree said she viewed the honour with some "trepidation".

"Being singled out feels quite uncomfortable.

"But it also feels like a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the fascinating creatures — the reptilian taonga, in particular — that I have shared my working life with."

The leading zoologist and herpetologist has worked for decades to enhance conservation outcomes for herpetofauna.

She helped found the Society for Research on Amphibians and Reptiles in New Zealand in 1987, bringing together scientists, conservation managers and the community, to achieve research outcomes and projects to advance understanding of New Zealand’s herpetofauna.

She served as president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and council member with the organisation during her 34-year involvement.

She co-ordinated the transfer of tuatara from Cook Strait, in which Ngāti Koata escorted their taonga tuatara into the care of Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki.

She has also been a member of the Department of Conservation’s Tuatara Recovery Group for more than 28 years, and co-authored the first Tuatara Recovery Plan.

In 2014, she released a book titled Tuatara — biology and conservation of a venerable survivor, which provides guidance on best practice field protocol and captive breeding guidelines for tuatara.

It also ensures the place of tuatara as taonga and honours the role of Māori as kaitiaki.

Prof Cree has published more than 135 scientific papers and has contributed to more than 100 reports, magazine articles and presentations.

Alongside her research work, she has also been a member of the University of Otago’s Kaiāwhina Māori network, running multiple workshops and training sessions to integrate the Māori strategic framework into departmental practice.

— John Lewis




Prof Emeritus Alison Mary Rich, Dunedin

For services to oral pathology

When an email arrived, telling pioneering oral pathologist Alison Rich she had been awarded an ONZM in the King’s Birthday Honours, she said it was like finding a hen with teeth.

The 69-year-old Emeritus Professor and retired University of Otago researcher has won the award for services to oral pathology.

"I’m delighted. It’s a wonderful culmination for my career.

"It’s also an important recognition of the unknown discipline of pathology.

"I never dreamed I would get an award like this.

"It was a complete surprise — I was about as surprised as I would have been to find a hen with teeth."

Prof Rich leads New Zealand’s only Oral Cancer Pathology Centre, providing specialist diagnostic oral pathology reports to dentists, dental specialists and anatomical pathologists nationally.

Before retiring in January this year, she was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Otago, leader of the Oral Molecular and Immunological Group at the Sir John Walsh Research Institute, and head of the Oral Pathology Diagnostic Services at the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry.

In 2016, she was appointed chief examiner for the Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and in 2020 she became head of pathology at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine.

She is also the first female and first New Zealander to become president of the International Association of Oral Pathologists.

She has given her expertise to numerous organisations and projects, including working with colleagues in 2011 on a clinical teaching programme for all health professionals in rural environments with a high proportion of Māori patients, which was introduced and continues today in Tairawhiti.

During her career, Prof Rich has produced more than 100 research publications and was recently placed in the top 1% of researchers in New Zealand by the Performance-Based Research Fund.


Douglas Henry Hood, Auckland

For services to the music industry

A key contributor to development of the Dunedin Sound, Doug Hood thought the time for honours might have passed him by.

He was a vocalist in an early lineup for The Clean, but much of his influence within New Zealand’s alternative music community was behind the scenes as a sound engineer and helping to build the brand of Flying Nun Records.

Music label founder Roger Shepherd became an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2018 and now Mr Hood has joined him, becoming an officer in the order in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours.

Mr Hood (69) said he was delighted to be recognised.

"Having worked mostly in the background, it came as a bit of a surprise, too," he said.

"It says a lot about my friends still in the music industry who got behind it and pushed hard."

Mr Hood was the sound engineer and manager of The Enemy and then Toy Love in the late 1970s.

He met Chris Knox, the future Toy Love frontman, in 1972 and they became great mates, Mr Hood said.

"We had a lot of faith that Flying Nun could crack the charts mainly through student radio and hard live work."

Mr Hood supported bands to tour and produce albums, including The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings, Headless Chickens, the Able Tasmans, Netherworld Dancing Toys and The Dance Exponents.

His citation said he mentored bands to improve their ability to play, tour and make a living.

He was a concert promoter and ran Looney Tours in the 1980s and 1990s, leading to treks with bands across the country.

He was also connected to big-name international artists touring New Zealand, including REM and U2.

Mr Hood was involved in founding the Big Day Out event in Auckland.

Now living in Auckland, Mr Hood said his recent health had not been good, as he had throat cancer.

Radiotherapy had slowed it down, but he was now in palliative care.

Mr Hood said there had been plenty of proud moments, especially with younger bands in the 1980s, The Chills opening for Lou Reed, The 3Ds pop band before Nirvana and helping local groups get exposure.


Colin Charles James, Waiheke Island

For services to journalism and public policy

Highly-respected political journalist Colin James was noted for his strict impartiality, to the extent that he never voted so as not to in any way influence the insightful commentary he provided readers for decades.

"I didn’t want to have that thought in the back of my mind," Mr James (78) said.

"I was told by a senior Labour MP early on in the Helen Clark administration that she was telling MPs to watch out for me because I was a Tory, and at almost exactly the same time Jenny Shipley, who was still leader of the National party, said to my face that I was biased. I thought that was great."

That determined neutrality had for years dissuaded Mr James from accepting any honour for his work but over time, having been offered recognition by governments from either end of the political spectrum, he accepted.

"I would not have accepted it just for journalism, for doing my job/work, but the public policy dimension (mostly through the Institute of Policy Studies/Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, which Victoria University is disestablishing, to its discredit) adds a wider, community dimension," Mr James said.

"But an award to a journalist accords journalism public respect and value. Accurate, dispassionate journalism is critical to a healthy democracy.

"To have refused the award would have lost an opportunity, however fleeting, to have journalism’s democratic role publicly valued. For that reason (and with considerable discomfort) I accepted it."

Mr James was born in Balclutha, and began to work in journalism in the mid-1960s, writing for the University of Otago magazine Critic  and working shifts on the Otago Daily Times subediting desk during university holidays.

He started work in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in 1969, and eventually became a distinguished columnist whose work appeared in many publications including, until 2017, the ODT.

"I hugely value that start I got ... I tried to be accurate, objective and dispassionate and to report what was there, and to analyse it."

Mr James is the author of several books and has just completed a draft version of a recent New Zealand political history.




Yvonne Annette Browning, Invercargill

For services to Education and Youth

Yvonne Browning has been principal of Southland Girls’ High School for 20 years.

Receiving the award was a humbling experience, she said.

"I realise that the way I got to that is there’s a lot of people that I’ve employed and worked with and collaborated with on the way, so it’s about a good team in the end."

Mrs Browning has been identified by the Ministry of Education for her innovative curriculums, which serve as a model for the implementation of the national curriculum in New Zealand.

She has taken the initiative to foster relationships between the school and the local iwi to incorporate Maori and Pacific peoples’ feedback in shaping the learning outcomes.

In 2008, she established an education partnership between Southland Girls’ High School and Tiwai Aluminium Smelter to encourage female pupils to consider engineering careers, resulting in more girls studying physics at the school and choosing to pursue engineering at university.

The partnership won the Community Initiative of the Year award at the 2018 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards. She has been a founding member of the Invercargill Student Support Network since 2006, which aims to support vulnerable youth in the region by collaborating with all Invercargill secondary schools.

"When kids leave school at 16, and particularly girls, there are still well-paid jobs out there, but a girl without qualifications really struggles to earn that good income ... So to see that she has choices, that she doesn’t have to be reliant on anybody for an income, that’s my biggest driver."

Mrs Browning was a trustee of the Poppycock Trust from 2014 to 2019, a parent-focused initiative that raises awareness of issues affecting schoolchildren, such as cybersecurity. Mrs Browning is a founding member of the Education Southland International Student Coalition, which was established in 2005.


Gerard Anthony (Tony) Hanning, Dunedin

For services to education and the community

Gerard Anthony (Tony) Hanning (84) says it is an privilege to accept a King’s Birthday Honour for services to education and the community.

"There’s that element of surprise, because you’re not expecting it," Mr Hanning said.

"It is an honour and a recognition of the things that are important to me.

"As much as the personal involvement, community service and education are two things dear to my heart."

Mr Hanning has contributed to Catholic education and community organisations in Otago and Southland for decades.

He started as a teacher in the state system, but with his children attending Catholic schools, he became involved in the parent-teacher movement of the day. That led on to a long history of contributing to the sector.

Mr Hanning is a past chairman of the Dunedin Diocese Catholic Education Council.

In 1981, he was appointed as director of Catholic Education of the Dunedin Diocese, a position he held until 2019.

He played an important role in the rationalisation and integration of Otago and Southland schools into the state school system.

He has been a member of Lions Club International for more than 45 years, serving in many club, district and national positions.

He served as international director from 1998 to 2000, representing New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands on the international board. For more than 25 years he was involved with Camp Quality New Zealand, providing camps for children living with cancer.

He was Camp Quality South secretary in the 1990s and in 2009 , after helping rebuild the committee, served as camp manager then regional manager.

He helped organise the annual summer camps in Queenstown, involving fundraising and sponsorship for accommodation, meals and entertainment to provide this event free to children and companions.

Mr Hanning was made a life member of Camp Quality New Zealand in 2018.

He was awarded the Papal Knighthood to the Order of Saint Gregory the Great in 2007.


Lynette Evelyn Milne, Wanaka

For services to the arts

Wanaka’s Lyn Milne says her many years supporting young Kiwi musicians has been all about "opening doors" for them to connect with people and forge careers.

Now, her service to the arts has been recognised with an MNZM.

"I never expected to get anything. All that I have done with music is because it is a natural passion of mine," she said.

She began supporting young Kiwi concert musicians while working in the London for the Royal Over-Seas League and has not stopped.

"Musicians are an amazing breed. Where would we be without them?" she said.

Mrs Milne (74) was the New Zealand director of the league for 23 years.

She organised concerts featuring New Zealand students during the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Auckland in 1995.

She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music as well as the ROSL-Pettman Chamber Music Scholarship in 2005.

She also organised national concert tours for young musicians between 2006 and 2017.

The Pettman opportunities came "out of the blue" when a Yorkshire philanthropist, Barrie Pettman, got her phone number from a mutual friend and rang to offer support for New Zealand musicians.

"He loved New Zealand and wanted to help ... Everything happened from that conversation. Some people would be sceptical but I was so trusting. Everything happened as it was said and it is still happening 15 years later," she said in an interview with the Otago Daily Times last week.

In an isolated nation, young New Zealand concert musicians found their world could be tough and they needed help to open doors. It was not a financial world, but it was very rewarding, she said.

Mrs Milne and her husband Keith retired to Wanaka’s Mount Aspiring Village from their previous Wellington home about two years ago.

She immediately set about establishing an Artist in Residence programme for the village, continues to support young musicians, and is on the Wanaka Concert Society committee.

In 2022 she co-founded the charitable Magic Carpet Music Trust, which has now provided 23 concerts around New Zealand. Mrs Milne is also a Wanaka Concert Society committee member.


Keni Upokotea Moeroa, Dunedin

For services to the Cook Islands community

"Mama" Keni Moeroa plans to stay calm and not make a big deal about being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

"Everything I do it’s about God’s people, it’s never been about myself," she said.

Her engagement with the Cook Island community began when she arrived in New Zealand 48 years ago.

She founded Tahuna Pasifika in 1995 and has taught several children Cook Island dance.

Mrs Moeroa helped establish Pacific Trust Otago, formerly the Otago Pacific Peoples Health Trust, which offers a variety of services, including education, health and wellbeing.

She was the chairwoman of the Pacific Advisory Group at the University of Otago, supporting the Division of Health Sciences and the university’s work with Pacific communities.

She facilitates the Pacific Immersion Programme for medical students within the Cook Islands community and has been a senior research fellow at Te Va’a o Tautai — Centre for Pacific Health.

Mrs Moeroa has been a member of the Mangaian Vaine Tini, creating Cook Islands quilts, and has donated these art pieces to Otago Museum.

As treasurer of Te Vaka Cook Islands of Dunedin and Elder of the Pacific Island North Dunedin Presbyterian Church, she pushes herself and her community to continue to do good work.


Arthur Graham Sutherland, Wanaka

For services to outdoor education

Retired Canterbury teacher Arthur Sutherland (76), now living in Wanaka, has described his King’s Birthday Honour as "exciting and humbling".

His MNZM recognises his lifetime involvement in outdoor education, sparked by participation in the scouting movement in the 1960s and developed through Outdoors Pursuit Centre mentor Stu Allen.

He also shares his outdoors passion with his wife Robyn and their sons Myles and Guy.

Mr Sutherland was born and raised in Otago and, because his family owned a removal firm and moved around a lot, he was educated at several Dunedin and Oamaru schools, including Kaikorai Valley High and Waitaki Boys’ High schools.

He spent much of his adult life and career in North Canterbury and Christchurch, before retiring to Wanaka in September 2020.

"Our first outdoor experience as a family was at the Boyle River, on an overnight tramp into the Nina Valley. That was our first tenting experience, at least outside the backyard," he recalled.

The Boyle River area became the family’s happy place, as all the Sutherlands mucked in to cook for courses, take part in Search and Rescue scenarios and be caretakers of the Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre, which Mr Sutherland helped establish in 1978.

He has been on the centre’s governing trust, the North Canterbury Alpine Trust, ever since and received the centre’s Peter Allen Award in 2018.

By the time he retired, Mr Sutherland had dedicated 45 years to New Zealand outdoor education.

He taught at Kaiapoi High School for 25 years, directing its award-winning Adventure School.

He also developed risk management and training assessment schemes for teachers, and drafted the Department of Education’s risk management scheme booklet for education outside the classroom (EOTC).

He also served on a Ministry of Education steering group to produce the EOTC guidelines and was an executive member of Education Outdoor New Zealand for six years.

His other awards include the supreme award for contribution to outdoor recreation and the Outdoor New Zealand special executive award.




Colleen Helen Carr, Lake Hawea

For services to the community

A strong community was a wonderful thing to be part of and Colleen Carr has worked to create that at Lake Hawea.

"Very delighted and proud and very humbled" was her reaction to being recognised but there were many other people equally deserving, she said.

Lake Hawea was growing rapidly and it was important the community retained its own identity and not became just an outpost of Wanaka.

There were a lot of young families in the area without support systems and it was important to develop that for them, Mrs Carr said.

In the past 13 years she had been chairwoman, deputy chairwoman and secretary of the Lake Hawea community centre, a member of the foreshore management group and voluntarily cared for gardens at the community centre and Hawea Bowling Club.

A monthly family Friday evening group with children’s activities, and a monthly village meet and greet, particularly encouraging new residents to get involved in the community, were her initiatives.

Quiz nights, village dinners to celebrate volunteers and mid-winter Christmas as well as Christmas picnics in December, the Wise Ones groups for residents over 65 and the Haere Mai group for people from various cultures who had settled in Hawea, including social events and English for Speakers of Other Languages lessons, were ways she ensured everyone felt welcomed and included in the community. She also organised the annual Town v Country Waitangi Day sports contest between Hawea Flat and Lake Hawea.


Robin Ethnye Jackson, Invercargill

For services to swimming

Mrs Robin Jackson has had a life-long involvement with swimming and has been involved as an official and coach from a young age.

She said she was delighted to be recognised, as the sport has long been an important part of her life.

A life member of Swimming Southland, Mrs Jackson has held almost every role within the club, including president from 1992 to 1994.

Mrs Jackson was Chef de Mission for the New Zealand Aquatics team at the 1998 Fina World Cup in Perth and officiated with the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

"That was exciting, because it was not only for the swimming team, but the diving, and the water polo and the synchronised swimming, and the open water swimming — so [I] was a bit busy tearing around from one thing to the other, watching everybody and reporting on them. That was fun, a bit hectic."

In 1990, she was elected to the New Zealand Water Safety Council and the New Zealand Swimming Education Board, later becoming chairwoman until 1997.

Among her many achievements in the sport, she also successfully obtained $250,000 a year for two years for the Lotto Swim Safe campaign in the mid-1990s.

Mrs Jackson served as president of the New Zealand Swimming Federation from 1996 to 1999, and officiated at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland and the World Masters Swim Championships in Christchurch in 2002.

"It was so much fun. There were so many days when I had to be in Wellington at 9 in the morning to get up and get on that red-eye plane. That was never an effort. I loved doing it."

AWARDS: Swimming New Zealand Honours Award 1999, Southland Swimming Honours Award 1990


Alofa Ta’ase Lale, Dunedin

For services to the community

The opportunity to help people in various communities to connect is service the Rev Alofa Lale finds rewarding.

"It’s a blessing to do so," the First Church of Otago associate minister said.

Rev Lale (62) is the only ordained Pacific woman minister in Dunedin and her involvement in the city has ranged from co-ordinating mission activities for Mercy Hospital to establishing a learning centre for senior Maori and Pacific high school pupils to receive tutoring from university students.

She has supported the Pacific and wider community for more than 25 years.

Rev Lale has been awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in the King’s Birthday Honours for services to the community.

She is of Samoan heritage and is from Porirua, where she was a teacher. She worked as the Pacific liaison officer at Victoria University of Wellington from 1999 until 2002.

She moved to Dunedin with her young family in 2003, to train for the Presbyterian Church ministry.

Rev Lale ministered in the Otago Peninsula Presbyterian parish and Dunedin South Presbyterian Church.

She has lately contributed to First Church, which runs regular worship services in Cook Islands Maori and Samoan.

She has been an Otago Community Trust Board trustee since 2021 and is a member of the Kaitiaki group of the Otepoti Community Builders Network.

Rev Lale is the immediate past president of Pacifica Inc, which seeks to provide opportunities for Pacific women.


Bernice (Bernie) Monica Lepper, Alexandra

For services to the community and education

Community education is at the forefront of everything Bernie Lepper does and she has contributed to rural education and community initiatives in Alexandra for many years.

By accepting the award she hoped to inspire others to work collaboratively to get what they wanted for their whānau and community.

Keeping life in balance was not always easy, but the hours she spent running and biking over the years gave her the energy and clarity to work towards the positive goals in the community, she said.

"How fortunate have I been to work for REAP and through education create significant change in people’s lives."

The award was also important as it acknowledged the work of people in the rural community, she said.

Mrs Lepper had been an integral part of Alexandra Community House and chaired the initial set-up board . When that transitioned to a permanent board, Mrs Lepper stayed on as chairwoman for a further nine years, stepping down in 2022 only because she had reached her term limit.

She played a pivotal role in the design and construction of Alexandra Community House, which is a central hub housing 16 social services agencies, local arts and crafts and used by 150 community groups.

As manager of the Central Otago Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) since 1998, Mrs Lepper had implemented a variety of social and education initiatives to support vulnerable people in the community, such as Strengthening Families, an Oranga Tamariki project designed to support families and whanau at risk.

During the Covid-19 pandemic she led several REAP initiatives, including establishing the Ministry of Social Development’s community connector role which supported community cohesion and wellbeing. Under her guidance, REAP also partnered with Otago Polytechnic and Community House to provide a learning hub for people without internet access, as well as courses teaching online skills.

For six years Mrs Lepper had been involved with REAP Aotearoa, helping grow the organisation and mentoring education leaders throughout New Zealand.

Mrs Lepper was a trustee of Central Lakes Trust from 2010 to 2019.


Antony Mark Pettinger, Dunedin

For services for outdoor recreation

Four terms and nearly 15 years as president of the Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club (OTMC) has earned Antony Pettinger a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to outdoor recreation.

Mr Pettinger was humbled to receive the award.

"It’s certainly not what I expected and its certainly not why I’ve done any of the work I’ve done for the club.

"It’s also nice that I’ve been recognised for the work I’ve done for the club over the years. I feel quite proud, I guess."

Mr Pettinger had been involved with the OTMC for more than 30 years.

After joining the OTMC, the oldest tramping club in the South Island, in 1985 he became membership secretary of the club’s committee in 1986 and has since held a multitude of roles including secretary, chief guide and club president.

Mr Pettinger played a key role in the club’s ongoing success, organising and leading 139 trips in 37 years.

An accomplishment Mr Pettinger was most proud of was being course director for the club’s bushcraft courses for 22 years, teaching novice trampers river crossing techniques, clothing and gear advice, map and navigational skills and reading weather conditions.

"If we’ve helped someone make a right decision on one of there trips even if they’re out tramping on their own, not with the club, to me if we’ve done that we’ve achieved what we set out to do."

Mr Pettinger was a member of the OTMC’s Land Search and Rescue callout list for 20 years and is organising the club’s centenary celebrations taking place this year.

"We’ve done almost 7000 trips since 1923, so I put a list together of all the trips and then worked out which ones we could redo to try and celebrate our 100 years."

Mr Pettinger was leading the creation of a new tramping track to a lookout point on Pineapple Point in Dunedin.


Robyn Ann van Reenen, Wanaka

For service to the arts

"An exciting part of my life", was how Wanaka Autumn Art School organiser Robyn van Reenen described the work which led her to a place on the King’s Birthday Honours list.

Mrs van Reenen’s citation lists many arts groups she has been involved in, from national committees to being a founding member of the Wanaka patchwork group. Those were "what heaps of people do" but the art school was special, she said.

The Wanaka Autumn Art school started in 1990 and two year later Mrs van Reenen and co-organiser Dennis Schwarz took over.

"We never thought it we would still be doing it 30 years later."

Held annually at the Mt Aspiring College, the Wanaka Autumn Art School offered up to 16 courses in visual, performing, craft and writing arts.

Over the decades Mrs van Reenen had found more than 350 tutors who shared their knowledge with 4000 to 5000 for a week each year.

There had been high-profile tutors over the years, including writers Roger Hall and Owen Marshall, along with visual artists Marilyn Webb and Nigel Brown.

There had also been perhaps lesser known , artists in all fields who ran hugely exciting classes, she said.

Always on the lookout for people to take classes, she had come across suitable candidates in all kinds of places and many were recommended to her.

Every year she really looked forward to the school with the team of tutors and all the happy faces on Friday, when the school finished.

Mr Schwarz was responsible for the finances and while her role was more obvious his was just as important, she said.

Mrs van Reenen and Mr Schwarz stepped down from their roles late last year.


James Donald Hazlett, Naseby

For services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

James Hazlett is a stalwart member of the community in Maniototo and helps out on several fronts.

Mr Hazlett joined Ranfurly Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1985 and has been Chief Fire Officer since 2005. In an isolated brigade, he can be called out to a widespread district at any minute of the day.

Married with three daughters and two grandchildren, Mr Hazlett (57), who lives in Naseby, works in the family contracting business.

Mr Hazlett led the integration of the Ranfurly Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Maniototo section of the Blackstone Rural Fire Force.

He was vice-president then president of the Central Otago Fire Brigades Sub Association from 2007-2010 and a technical panel member for eight years.

He held executive roles with the Otago Southland Provincial Fire Brigades Association from 2012, including president in 2015.

He has been on the Otago Southland Challenge panel since 2018, the last two years as convener.

He has volunteered with the Road Crash Rescue Organisation and been involved with fire brigade challenges as a participant, coach and judge.

He has volunteered for St John Ambulance in Ranfurly since 2013. He was on the St John’s School Ranfurly Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2011, with six years as chairman, and designed and established an off-road carpark and a garden area for the school.

He was president of Ranfurly Curling Club from 1997-1999, having joined in 1987. Mr Hazlett has held leadership roles with the Naseby Curling Council, including president, helped build the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink in 2002-03, and has held executive roles with the New Zealand Curling Association.


Kirsty Jean Sharpe, Queenstown

For services to the community

Queenstown Justice of the Peace Kirsty Sharpe initially thought Parliament’s Honours Office was calling to ask her about somebody else’s nomination for this year’s King’s Birthday Honours.

Ms Sharpe (78), of Kelvin Heights, said when she received the call in late April she was asked if she had received their email — which she had not — before being informed she was in line to be honoured herself.

"I came home and [the email] was in my spam folder ... It was anything but spam, wasn’t it?"

For more than 30 years Ms Sharpe has contributed to community initiatives in Queenstown and the Wakatipu basin, including serving as a Queenstown Lakes District Councillor for three terms, from 1986 to 1995.

A founding member of the Queenstown Citizens Advice Bureau, she held several roles over 17 years, including president, and under her leadership CAB developed into a community hub, which how assists over 4000 clients a year.

For the past 30 years she had been a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of Wakatipu, and was previously a workplace chaplain and marriage celebrant. Last year she was recognised as a lay minister emeritus.

A JP since 1996, she had also been involved with the Kelvin Peninsula and Frankton Community Associations and, from 2008 to 2021, was involved with the Margaret Templeton Educational Trust, which provides financial help to young people to gain tertiary qualifications.

She had also been involved in Queenstown Grey Power Inc since 2006, serving four years as treasurer and five as president.

Of receiving a Queen’s Service Medal, Ms Sharpe said she was "very humbled" and "honoured".

"It’s nice to have my voluntary work recognised, but there are a lot of people who have joined me on this journey.

"It’s quite a thrill, really, but it certainly wasn’t expected."


Margaret (Penny) Ruth Sinnamon, Omakau

For services to the community

Her real name is Margaret Ruth Sinnamon but everyone knows her as Penny.

Rev Penny Sinnamon has supported the Central Otago and Omakau communities as both a vicar and a tireless worker over many years.

Coming up 80 in October she has been recognised for her long service.

She was humbled by the award and said there were plenty of people out there who deserved it as much as she did.

"With rural life you just had to get involved back then and make things happen. That is just what you did," she said

Rev Sinnamon obtained a qualification by correspondence to become ordained as a volunteer vicar for the Anglican Church. She has performed her duties as a vicar with Dunstan Parish across most of Central Otago, volunteering for many years, receiving 25% of a vicar’s salary for five years, and carrying on her duties after formally retiring.

She helps her community in many different ways and is still heavily involved.

Just last month, she volunteered as chaplain at Omakau School, where she worked with children struggling in the classroom or feeling left out and also provided support to the children’s families, where needed. She organised the school’s Anzac Day commemorations, leading services and involving students.

Within the wider community Rev Sinnamon has been club captain of Omakau Golf Club, held all offices with Valley Hockey Club and her local Rural Women branch, been a member and performer with Omakau Musical Society, and has been president of Omakau Citizens Association.

She was born Margaret Ruth Sinnamon but her grandparents wanted her to be called Penny and her older brother, 2 at the time, also called her that. The name stayed.


Stephen Garry Shaw, Cromwell

For services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and hockey

For more than 35 years veteran firefighter Steve Shaw (Ngai Tahu), has put himself on the line in the pursuit of protecting and supporting others.

He began his journey in the fire service with the Gore Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1987 and transferred to the Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade in 1997.

Between 2007 and 2021 he served as the Cromwell Brigade’s chief fire officer, and during that time championed the wellbeing and training of the brigade’s volunteers, introducing a structured rostered system whereby duty crews took turn about responding to incidents and attending to duties around the station.

Since 2017 he has led the Fire and Emergency Central Otago-Lakes peer support team, which conducts defusing sessions following traumatic events and provides one-on-one support to firefighters experiencing personal psychological issues and trauma.

When he stepped down as fire chief in 2021, he remained in active duty and joined the brigade’s operational support unit.

Mr Shaw also held leadership roles in the Central Otago Hockey Association between 2006 and 2013, refreshing the organisation with a community focus, and was instrumental in the formation of Southern Region Hockey Inc. in 2010.

Receiving a King’s Birthday honour was more about the people he served than himself, Mr Shaw said.

"Its funny because people say [the Fire Brigade] is community service, and it is, but it’s sort of under-the-radar community service.

"There’s so many other people — I really feel like this is for them."


Glenys Anne Scandrett, Dunedin

For services to dance

Glenys Scandrett has a little bit more of a spring in her step today after receiving a Queen’s Service Medal in the King’s Birthday Honours.

The 84-year-old retired dancer and dance teacher said she considered doing a celebratory pirouette, but decided she might be a bit past that now.

"I’m pretty excited about it. I’m just trying to get my head around it."

Ms Scandrett has been a classical ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher for more than 65 years.

Many of her students have gone on to become professional dancers, choreographers and teachers.

She gained her Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal examination in 1957, she was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance in 1978, and she holds life membership of the academy.

Ms Scandrett co-founded the Kaikorai Valley Rhythmical Gymnastics Club — now called the Green Island Rhythmical Gymnastics Club.

She was a judge and coach for New Zealand from 1971 to 1975 and assistant coach of the New Zealand team at the Rhythmical Gymnastics World Games in 1973.

She was the principal tutor for The Fortune Theatre Ballet School between 1977 and 1980, and taught advanced students for various local dance academies.

She opened Scandrett Dance Academy in 1997, in Invercargill, offering classical ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance, and was elected as the examiner for the British Ballet Organisation in 1998.

More recently, Ms Scandrett was also the organiser of the Otago and Southland Dance Reunion in 2018.

She said she had had a wonderful career and if the Covid-19 pandemic had not intervened, she would still be teaching today.


Marcia Rei Te Au-Thompson, Invercargill

For services to seniors, Māori and health

Mrs Marcia Te Au-Thompson (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) has worked to promote social inclusion, health and Te Ao Māori in her community for 30 years.

Through her work with the Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust (NKMP), she has been a strong support for seniors/kaumātua in the Invercargill area.

She has been involved with the kaumātua group at Te Tomairangi Marae in Murihuku for 14 years, which has included sharing waiata, establishing a ukulele group, helping with social media particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep the community connected.

Mrs Te Au-Thompson was Ngāi Tahu representative on the Southern District Health Board in the early 1990s and became iwi cultural adviser for Southland Hospital, and she was instrumental in creating Te Whare Whānau family room and accommodation at Southland Hospital for whānau of critically ill patients from outside Invercargill.

She has led key changes to healthcare practices, incorporating tikanga and Hauora.

Among her many achievements, Mrs Te Au-Thompson has also been a celebrant for weddings, tangihanga and funerals on a voluntary basis and a Justice of the Peace for more than 25 years.

She received the Age Concern Huia Award last year.