Deserved recognition

While the South might have missed out on the most prestigious awards in the Queen's Birthday Honours list this year, we celebrate with the women and men in our communities who have received recognition.

Some are well known public names, with New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson obvious examples.

Their contributions to the rebuilding of the team and its success at the World Cup of cricket earlier this year are memorable. McCullum's 302, the first triple century by a New Zealand batsman, was also something extra special and an innings not to be forgotten.

Lesley Elliott is another who has been in the public eye. She has been determined the murder of her daughter Sophie should not be in vain. Her valiant role in raising issues about the safety of young women in relationships or potential relationships has created a positive legacy for the family.

Former Alliance Group chief executive Owen Poole, of Wanaka, has been a leading business figure, even if he is perhaps not so well known outside the meat industry and the commercial world.

From business, too, is Michael MacKnight of ADInstruments. His company is a leading light on the Dunedin technology scene, and the city needs more like him and Mr Poole.

Others from the South, including Ngai Tahu's Edward Ellison, are from a variety of backgrounds and interests, several with a public profile and several without.

Each can be proud of their achievements whether in medicine, education, sport, landscape architecture, the Defence Force, conservation, music or for the Maori or Pacific communities.

And for each one of these people, there are many others giving wholeheartedly in their jobs and in their communities. There are always plenty of worthy recipients for when the next batch of honours comes around.

No doubt, those honoured today reached their achievements without awards as the goal; rather it was probably the satisfaction of a job well done or the desire to help others or the environment. While we all have all sorts of motives, hopefully we can all enrich our society whether that be in ways large or small.

Nationally, there are 188 honours, 122 to men and 66 to woman. Sir Peter Gluckman is deservedly appointed a member of the Order of New Zealand, the highest honours and limited to 20 living people. There are also three dames and three knights.

Perhaps, though, it is among the others that the honours system has the most impact and importance. They are among the ranks of citizens, both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. They are notable for their real and meaningful contributions. They are to be congratulated and cherished.

Taking offence

There is a time and place for upset and even anger. There are reasons to take offence and demand appropriate responses. But are not we all these days too ready to cry foul, to hound and pester? Do we leap too easily on a word out of place or a relatively innocent action?

And do we not bow too easily before the slightest complaint?News last week that a Polish artist was pressured to change a large mural after the Dunedin City Council deemed it inappropriate is a case in point.

Street artist Bezt painted a woman lying in a forest clutching arrows protruding from her stomach. Following council pressure, the arrows were replaced with a fantail.

Apparently, the mural had to be changed because it differed from the image given resource consent. The council also said it received two complaints.

Surely, however, art can challenge. Surely, the original painting (''When the hunter becomes the hunted'') was worth keeping as Bezt had envisaged it.


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