Southern Queen's Birthday Awards recipients


Duncan Butcher
For services to local government and the community

The first thought that crossed Duncan Butcher's mind when he found out about his Queen's Birthday honour was the ''guys'' behind the scenes who helped him and the bodies he served on over the years.

Mr Butcher stepped down from local body politics last year after 33 years serving Otago in various roles, most recently as the Central Otago representative on the Otago Regional Council.

He has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

''I was taken a bit by surprise but when I think about it, I'm proud of it.''

His career included time as Cromwell borough mayor, deputy mayor of the Central Otago district and chairman of the regional council from 2001 to 2004.

During that time, he faced the challenges of a town under threat from the Clyde Dam and chaired the agency fighting to prevent the varroa bee mite coming south.

He was involved in various trusts, including the Central Otago Lakes Trust, the Otago Community Trust and the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust.

Mr Butcher said the honour had made him think back over the years and what came to mind was all the chief executives and town clerks he had worked with.

''Sometimes, people forget the amount of work they do to back politicians and trustees.''

While it was the councils or boards that made the decisions, it was the managers who had to put them into practice.

''I've come to appreciate that since October [when he retired], the amount of help and how important those guys are.''

Mr Butcher said he was enjoying his retirement and did not miss hitting the road to Dunedin every few weeks.

He had been able to get a few things done around the home and was enjoying spending time in Auckland with his grandchildren, which is where he would be celebrating his honour, the day after his 70th birthday.

Riki Herengitana-Cherrington
Services to Maori

Riki Herengitana-Cherrington was blunt when told he had been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

''How the bloody hell did I get that?''But after the 72-year-old began listing his more than 50 years of service to Maori in Invercargill, it is easy to understand why.

Mr Herengitana-Cherrington, of Nga Puhi descent, left the Bay of Islands for Invercargill in 1959.

During his long involvement, he helped establish an urban marae for Nga Iwi Katoa in Invercargill, and supported the construction of a whare tupuna at Murihiku marae.

He also helped establish the first kohanga reo in the South Island, on the grounds of Invercargill's Catholic Basilica.

He has been the kaumatua at the University of Otago Southland campus since 1999 and was a driving force in the formation of a bilingual Maori programme and facility at the teachers college.

He has also worked as a teacher and kaumatua of Maori studies at the Southern Institute of Technology since 1995, and helped establish a relationship between the polytechnic and Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Since 1991, he has been kaumatua and tutor of te reo and tikanga at Invercargill Prison, and also advises the Kai Tech Charitable Trust, which helps youth at risk of long-term unemployment.

He has served on several government committees including Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation, Invercargill City Council Safer Communities and the Department of Internal Affairs Community Organisations Funding Scheme.

Mr Herengitana-Cherrington has been on the Murihiku Maori Warden advisory committee Te


Waipounamu Maori Council.

Donald Murray Douglas Cleverley
Services to business and the community

Murray Cleverley (52) has contributed to a large range of organisations in the South Island, but is perhaps best known in Otago for helping set up Warbirds Over Wanaka.

Mr Cleverley, who lives in Timaru, has been involved in a long list of both business and community organisations.

His contribution to business included being chairman of the Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) from 2005 to 2007, being a member of the Small Business Advisory Group and the inaugural chairman of Escalator New Zealand, a Government capital raising initiative.

It was this business expertise, and not an interest in aviation, which got him involved in Warbirds Over Wanaka Community Trust.

''I'm an old Wanaka boy. I started in business there many years ago, at the Doughbin [bakery], and I thought it would be nice to give something back to that community.''

He started out as the inaugural independent director and trustee, then became chairman and now serves as a board member of the trust.

In that time, he had learnt a little about aviation.

''In the early days, sitting around board meetings, the rest of the trustees, because they were such aviation enthusiasts, they'd be talking about things that I'd never heard about.''

His work with Warbirds Over Wanaka was one of many cases in which he used his business acumen to help the community.

He was ''honoured'' to receive the award.

''At the end of the day, it's not about me. I have just been pretty fortunate I have got a fantastically supportive wife and kids and I have always surrounded myself with good people.''

He now serves as chairman of the Canterbury and South Canterbury District Health Boards and facilitated the campaign which raised

$3 million for an MRI scanner for the SCDHB.

He had previously lived in Invercargill and Oamaru and was chairman of the Oamaru Intermediate School board of trustees from 1992 to 1996.

Paul Hudson
Services to business and the community

Paul Hudson (65), of Port Chalmers, said that he was ''humbled and honoured'' for the recognition of his involved with commerce, local government and the community in Dunedin for 50 years.

He worked for Cadbury Fry Hudson between 1973 and 1996 and, as managing director, led Cadbury's transition to conducting its worldwide business from centralised locations.

He held elected positions on Port Chalmers and Dunedin City Councils between 1980 and 2013, including deputy mayor on both councils.

He was chairman of Dunedin City Holdings, Citibus-Dunedin Transport Ltd and Citiworks, and a board member of City Forests, Aurora Energy and Delta Utility Services.

He was chairman of Dunedin City Holdings for 18 years, when shareholder funds increased from $100,000 to more than $150 million and distributions to Dunedin City Council totalled more than $280 million.

He was council appointee for the Otago Theatre Trust, Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society and its acquisitions committee and the Dunedin Town Hall Organ Trust.

He was appointed treasurer to the Otago branch of the Save the Children Fund 50 years ago.

''This was the beginning of my lifelong interest in serving the community.''

The service to the community included work for Port Chalmers Kindergarten, the Aramoana Trust, Regent Theatre, the Otago Arts Society, the Dunedin Council of Social Services and the Dunedin Community House Trust.

''My involvement with the establishment of Community House, my early years in Save the Children Fund and various roles and involvement in local government have been very satisfying,'' he said.


Ronald Garth Ballantyne
Services to education

Retired principal Ron Ballantyne, of Dunedin, said he was ''chuffed and surprised'' to receive a Queen's Service Medal for services to education.

Mr Ballantyne (63) recently retired after working in the education sector for about 40 years.

His career in education started as a teacher at St Andrew's College, in Christchurch, and continued at Logan Park High School, in Dunedin for five years, before he moved to area schools - year 0 to year 13 schools in country districts.

He was the Cheviot Area School assistant principal for 12 years, Twizel Area School principal for five years and Hurunui College principal for 14 years.

He retired from the Hurunui College, an area school, at the end of last year.

The application for the honour noted Mr Ballantyne's dedication to his pupils by meeting the school buses, regardless of the weather conditions, to greet and farewell pupils.

He conversed with pupils during intervals, competed in annual school cross-country races and staff versus pupil games. He paid for stationery for disadvantaged pupils and tutored French in his own time.

''It's all about the kids,'' Mr Ballantyne said.

After retiring, he was missing the pupils but not the pressure, he said.

''It is quite a high-pressure job, and I don't miss the conflict, but I really did enjoy working with young people. Today's young people are fantastic. I've been very lucky to have a career working with the citizens of the future.''

Ann Elizabeth Barsby
Services to heritage preservation

Ann Barsby, who received a QSM for services to heritage preservation, says the tide is turning in favour of preserving Otago's heritage and developing Dunedin's heritage tourism potential.

Mrs Barsby (73) was ''very humbled'' by the honour, which also reflected the efforts of many other people to preserve and promote heritage, including at the Dunedin Gasworks Museum.

She had first heard of the award while in Berlin during a recent visit to Europe with her husband, classics scholar Emeritus Prof John Barsby.

At that stage, before she had fully read it, she initially believed that an email notification message sent to her about the honour was ''spam'', and her first thought had been to delete it, she said with a smile.

She was surprised and delighted by the award and also welcomed ''a real growing awareness of the importance of heritage'' in the community.

The earlier Dunedin City Council-backed restoration of the Gasworks Museum fitting shop, and the staging of an international industrial heritage conference there last year had marked turning points for the museum and for community awareness about industrial heritage.

A strong Otago heritage advocate, Mrs Barsby said that growing community awareness and DCC backing for the museum were a ''huge plus''.

She founded the Southern Heritage Trust in 2002 to promote and preserve all aspects of Otago's heritage and continued to be the driving force behind its success, honours authorities said.

Mrs Barsby has been closely involved in several community organisations and was responsible for reviving the Dunedin Gasworks Museum Trust in 2006, remaining an active member of the board.

Her services to heritage were also recognised when she received Dunedin's prestigious Bluestone Award in 2011.

Alan Andrew Key
Services to recreational fishing

If you want to get something fixed, tell Alan Key it cannot be done, his children say.

It is his response to such challenges concerning recreational fishing that got him get involved in the management and conservation of fisheries, he said.

''[This award] is not why I do it. I see a problem I believe needs a solution and I try to fix it.''

He did not believe in grizzling about a problem and instead tried to find a solution that gave the maximum result with the minimum impact.

''I found old-fashioned values and honesty works.''

It was the state of the blue cod fishery in Foveaux Strait that first drew his attention.

In the past 20 years, he has contributed to projects such as the Foveaux Strait dredge oyster management working group, Paterson Inlet scallop working group, Paterson Inlet fishing working group, blue cod working group and the Guardians of Fiordland's fisheries and marine environment group.

He has also been involved with the Guardians of Fiordland for 18 years and developed the Fiordland Marine Conservation Strategy between 2000 and 2005.

Mr Key (63), who is self-employed, has also advised government departments, fishing industry planning and advisory groups ensuring the implementation of more practical and realistic proposals for caring for the marine environment.

The keen recreational angler has also been involved in a proposal for an overarching body for marine recreational fishing.

He hoped to step back from many of those roles in coming years so he had the time to ''reap the benefits'' of all the work.

''There is nothing worse than sitting in a boardroom on a nice day knowing your boat is sitting in the shed,'' the father of three said.

Peter Boyd McPherson
Services to the community

Long-serving Clutha district councillor Peter McPherson admitted to ''quite a surprise'' when he learned of his Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

''I don't really don't know how it came about. It was a bit of a shock when I opened the envelope,'' he said on Thursday.

Mr McPherson was born and bred in Tapanui and spent his whole life in the town, apart from a period of compulsory military training in the 1950s.

He did not want to reveal his age.

''I'm still a boy,'' he said.

Mr McPherson was elected to the Clutha District Council in 1995 and served as a councillor until 2010.

He was elected to the West Otago Community Board in 1989, and served as council representative and chairman from 1995 to 2001. He was also chairman of district assets for 12 years and of Local Government New Zealand zone six, from 2004 to 2010.

He later served on the wastewater and waste management working parties, the forestry committee, and the Clutha water studies group.

He was a member of the Tuapeka County bursary and Telford Rural Polytechnic bursary panels and was involved in improving telecommunication services in outlying areas.

He was also a member of the Black Gully Domain Board, Pest Destruction Board and a Crookston Cemetery trustee.

Mr McPherson continues to operate an agricultural contracting business in Tapanui and help out around the community.

''I still get up every morning and manage to find something to do,'' he said.

''I still hit the Black Gully grass once a fortnight with the mower.''

Patrick James Sullivan
Services to broadcasting

Veteran radio presenter Jim Sullivan, of Dunedin, has received a Queen's Service Medal for services to broadcasting.

Mr Sullivan (67) presents the Sounds Historical programme on Radio New Zealand National.

The honour was an ''endorsement'' for historical radio programming, he said when contacted.

''It's pleasing because I think it indicates there's a place for New Zealand history in radio programmes. There's no other radio programme that does that.''

Since the early 1990s, Mr Sullivan has compiled and presented the show from the national broadcaster's Dunedin studio. The show started in Wellington, but he had been ''determined'' to move it to Dunedin.

''It hasn't changed too much, although over 20 years, as the audience have got older ... we've gone from, say, focusing on the 1930s, '40s and '50s, to the '40s, '50s and '60s.

''We're all getting older, and our memories don't necessarily go back to the 1920s.''

Other than that, the show had changed little over time, he said. Originally from Timaru, where he started his career, he has also worked in Palmerston North, the Netherlands and Christchurch, in a career spanning more than 50 years.

He presented Morning Report in the late 1970s for a couple of years.

Also a historian, he was Radio New Zealand chief archivist for about six years in the 1980s, and was manager of the oral history centre at the Alexander Turnbull Library in the early 1990s.

He has written more than 30 books on New Zealand history, and pens the column ''Nothing Too Serious'' in the Otago Daily Times.

Colin Leslie Weatherall
Services to the community

Colin Weatherall says he accepts his Queen's Service Medal on behalf of his family and the communities of Brighton and Dunedin.

''I have only had the opportunity to get this far because of the support of other people along the way,'' Mr Weatherall said.

He received the honour for his service to Brighton and Dunedin as a councillor, administrator and volunteer on several organisations.

Mr Weatherall spent 15 years as a councillor for Dunedin, retiring at the 2013 local government elections, and, before that, 12 years as chairman of the Saddle Hill Community Board.

''If given the chance to do all the things I have done, I would do them all again tomorrow,'' he said.

He has also spent more than 30 years as an administrator and coach of rugby, from club to Super Rugby level, and spent time as chairman of the Otago Rugby Football Union and convener of Carisbrook.

His work at Carisbrook led to him overseeing several All Blacks test matches, something he was particularly proud of.

''I was lucky to be involved in a great era of Otago rugby,'' he said.

He credited former Otago Rugby Football Union chairman John Spicer as being particularly influential in his work as an administrator.

''He's done a huge amount to help me,'' Mr Weatherall said.

He is a board member of Surf Life Saving New Zealand and previously served as chairman of Surf Life Saving Otago.

He is also an honorary fish and game ranger and served nine years on the Otago Fish and Game Council, as well as previously serving as chairman of the Community Care Trust, which provides support for people with intellectual disabilities.

He was ''somewhere between humbled and embarrassed'' at being acknowledged, but was thankful to those who had made the honour possible.

''The most important and critical thing has been the support of my family,'' he said.

Having retired recently, he looked forward to spending time with his wife, Ann, before taking aim at other community projects.



Add a Comment



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