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New Year's Honours List - Knight Of The Reel-m

30 Dec 2023

A knighthood to one of the most decorated contributors to New Zealand's screen industry is the headline act of the 31 members of the creative community in the 2024 New Year's Honours List.

The final days of 2023 are ones of contemplation and celebration - and there are many in the creative community who have extra reasons to charge their glasses after the release of the New Year's Honours list.

At the top of said list - arise, Sir Ian Mune, upgrading his OBE by receiving a knighthood for services to film, television and theatre for over half a century. 

As a director and as a performer, Sir Ian has left an indelible imprint on the screens both large and small, helping bring Aotearoa's stories to the fore long before it was fashionable to do so. With a distinctive voice and presence, Mune's ability to command a scene has seen him honoured previously with the New Zealand Television Legend Award back in 2021 - as well as the Rudall Hayward Award for filmmaking at the turn of the century. 

There are many other recognisable names in the arts landscape given the tap on the shoulder (not with a sword like Sir Ian, but figuratively) to show appreciation for what they bring to Aotearoa's cultural landscape.

They include popular figures like former Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction recipient David Hill, multi-talented arts leader Tama Waiapara, respected Creative New Zealand contributor Makerita Urale, Christchurch arts stalwart Jodi Wright, master carver Clive Fugill adding to his Ngā Tohu Toi Māori award and John Britten Black Pin from the Designers Institute of New Zealand, and recent FAME Mid-Career Award winner Tupe Lualua.

From artists to architecture, hymn music to Indian dance, industry leaders to grassroots champions - 31 of those who contribute to the creative community deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Sir Ian Mune in The Pact. Photo: Supplied.

Ian Mune OBE - For services to film, television and theatre

Mr Ian Mune is an award-winning actor, writer and director for stage and screen, who has been a pioneer in these professions in New Zealand and has focused on telling the stories of New Zealanders in an authentic voice since the 1970s.

Mr Mune was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1991 for his services to the theatre and film industry, having worked on developing these industries as a viable profession in New Zealand. His notable earlier film productions include co-writing seminal classics Sleeping Dogs (1977) and Goodbye Pork Pie (1981) and directing Came a Hot Friday (1984). 

Since 1991, he has continued contributing to these industries. He directed Once Were Warriors’ award-winning sequel What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (1999), the coming-of-age drama End of the Golden Weather (1991) and The Whole of the Moon (1997). He directed the 2008 depression-era telefeature film Life’s a Riot and the 2011 documentary on the life of New Zealand comedian Billy T James Billy T: Te Movie. 

As an actor with more than 70 screen roles to date, he has continued to perform in a variety of film, television and theatre productions, most recently in the miniseries The Pact (2021). Mr Mune has remained connected with new generations of actors as Patron of The Actors Program since 2012.    

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Pip Cheshire - For services to architecture

Mr Pip Cheshire is a distinguished architect who has demonstrated commitment to the betterment of New Zealand’s built environment.

In 1984, Mr Cheshire jointly founded Jasmax Architects. Through this firm, and later through Cheshire Architects, he led the transformation of the Britomart urban renewal project, creating a vibrant space in downtown Auckland and restoring part of the city’s heritage. He was one of three design team members for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and volunteered his time to document early explorers’ huts in the Ross Sea region in Antarctica. He undertook the master planning and design of the University of Auckland’s award-winning Leigh Marine Reserve campus at Goat Island. 

He has been a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) since 2007 and was its National President from 2014 to 2016. During his presidency, he led the development of Te Kawenata o Rata, a covenant between the NZIA and Ngā Aho (a society of Māori design professionals), helping to make the institute relevant to Māori practitioners. He has demonstrated a commitment to young people, education and sustainability through his mentoring, leadership and Adjunct Professor role at the University of Auckland. In 2013, Mr Cheshire was awarded the NZIA Gold Medal, the highest individual award an architect can receive in New Zealand.

Clive Fugill - For services to Māori art

Mr Clive Fugill (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rangi Wewehi) is a tōhunga whakairo (master carver) who has produced work of international renown and shared his knowledge of wood carving over more than five decades.

Mr Fugill has had an association with Te Puia / New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI) since he attended his first class in 1967. Following his graduation, he worked as a tutor and lecturer before going on to lead the school from 1983 to 1995 as Tumu Whakarae, Head of the National Carving School. Since 1990 he has also served on Creative New Zealand’s Te Waka Toi panel. 

The quality and consistency of his artistry saw him recognised as a tōhunga whakairo by his own iwi and throughout the motu. He has designed, adorned or restored structures around the country, including many marae and as a key contributor to the stage for Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival, Te Māhau, the largest Māori carved structure in existence. His carvings have been gifted to members of the Royal Family and other world leaders. 

He published the book Te Toki me Te Whao (2016) on traditional Māori tools and carving methods. As an artist, teacher and writer, Mr Fugill has influenced a generation of Māori artists, and worked to uphold the mana of whakairo rākau.  

Dale Mary and David Garratt - For services to Christian music production

Mrs Dale Mary Garratt (Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri) and her husband David Garratt founded the Christian ministry brand ‘Scripture in Song’ in 1968, producing recordings and music books for worship in Christian churches for more than 50 years.

The songs Mr and Mrs Garratt wrote, recorded and published have been used in virtually every Protestant church and by some Roman Catholic groups in New Zealand. They are recognised nationally and internationally as pioneering worship leaders and modellers of congregational singing, particularly for their contextual application of biblical texts and current musical trends. Their breakthrough double LP Prepare Ye The Way (1972) was authenticated Platinum. They have produced more than 30 recordings in New Zealand and overseas, with most released internationally, the most recent being Songs of Blessing (2021). In total, 13 of their albums achieved Gold or Platinum status and more than three million song books have been sold. 

They have promoted indigenous expressions of song, rhythm and dance into their repertoire and teachings, incorporating Māori, Pacific, North American First Nations and Hawaiian expressions into established Western practice, and producing songs of worship in native languages. They have presented at First Nations conferences in Canada, the United States and Australia and have ministered in the US and South Africa. Mr and Mrs Garratt received the Dove Award, the lifetime achievement award from the Gospel Music Association in 1984.

David Hill - For services to literature, particularly children's literature

David Hill. Photo: Supplied.

Mr David Hill is an educator, reviewer and writer and is regarded as a part of the backbone of New Zealand’s children’s literature.

Mr Hill has published more than 50 books over four decades, with 18 published since 2004. His works have been translated for international audiences including France and China, and he has received numerous literature awards. He has had two books listed on the International Youth Library White Ravens list, which highlights books deserving of international recognition for universal themes and/or innovative literary design. 

He is a current member of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Kaumatua Tomata advisory group to the NZSA President, having been an Society member for more than 50 years. He is regularly a mentor and assessor for NZSA’s programmes for emerging writers. He has engaged with thousands of Children through organisations such as Read NZ and Storylines and writers-in-schools programmes across New Zealand. He has advocated for further support for children’s writers and book awards, highlighting disparity of income and prize packages between children’s and adult’s literature in annual awards, and more broadly highlighting issues around lending rights and compensation for broadcast adaptations affecting the income of professional writers. 

Mr Hill is respected as a reviewer of adult literature, columnist and guest speaker at writer’s festivals.

Yolanda Soryl - For services to literacy education

Ms Yolanda Soryl has been involved in education for 41 years and over the past 21 years has specialised in early literacy teaching in New Zealand.

While teaching at a Christchurch primary school in 2002, Ms Soryl set out to develop a successful phonics programme for New Zealand primary and ECE teachers. To show teachers that phonics could help accelerate literacy outcomes and be engaging and fun, she put videos of her lessons on YouTube, wrote training manuals on how to teach phonics, and taught courses across New Zealand, training more than 25,000 teachers and teacher aides. 

She has produced hundreds of early literacy resources, including a New Zealand-accented phonics app. She has run Early Literacy Clinics to help and inspire teachers. Throughout her efforts to bring phonics to New Zealand classrooms, she continued teaching so her work remained grounded in the realities of the classroom. She developed and advocated phonics education through a time when systematic phonics teaching lacked official government endorsement, but which is now recognised as a fundamental aspect of the Structured Literacy approach endorsed by the Ministry of Education. 

Ms Soryl is currently a Reading Recovery teacher at Ao Tawhiti School in Christchurch, achieving a success rate above the national average.

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Susan Battye - For services to performing arts education

Ms Susan Battye is a playwright and educationalist who has contributed to the development of performing arts education in New Zealand and internationally.

Ms Battye was a founding member and is former President of Drama New Zealand, serving on the Executive Council for more than 25 years. From 1983 to 2004 she was Head of Drama at Epsom Girls Grammar School, encouraging and nurturing a love of creativity and performance in her students. 

She has written more than 20 play scripts for use in schools and developed several written resources and delivered workshops to support teachers and aid students’ understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in a performing arts context. She was Programme Manager for the Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. 

For more than 20 years she served on the General Council of the International Drama Theatre and Education Association, holding several roles including Secretary. From 2018 to 2022 she served on the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Board as Vice President. She was a founding member of Women in Film and Television and a member of the New Zealand Writers Guild and Playwrights Association. Ms Battye remains an active member of Drama New Zealand and has been a Life Member since 2012.

Val Deakin - For services to dance 

Ms Val Deakin has dedicated her life to performing, teaching and choreographing dance in New Zealand and internationally.

Ms Deakin started dancing aged four in New Plymouth, before completing her formative training at the Arts Education School in London. She attended the London Royal Ballet School on a scholarship and first worked as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in Ankara, Türkiye and with the London Royal Ballet. She was invited to perform in the United States, establishing a dance company in Washington DC. She taught at several ballet schools on the East Coast and performed and choreographed for the National Ballet School in Washington DC. 

In 1972 she returned to New Zealand, founding a dance school which continues to teach ballet, jazz, tap and modern (contemporary) dance. In 1973 she established the Val Deakin Dance Theatre Trust, a non-profit educational and charitable trust, presenting a variety of dance performances, classical ballets and theatrical productions in venues across the Taranaki region and nationally. For 15 years she directed several programmes of dance education, including presenting dance and drama workshops for children, teens and adults. 

She has taught thousands of students a number of whom have since had careers in dance and theatre. Ms Deakin continued to work as a dance teacher and choreographer until 2022, aged 87.

Barbara Dreaver - For services to investigative journalism and Pacific communities

Ms Barbara Dreaver is an award-winning investigative journalist who has dedicated her career to highlighting issues affecting Pacific communities for more than 30 years.

Ms Dreaver was co-owner of the Cook Islands Press from 1994 to 1998, before working for the New Zealand Listener and Radio New Zealand as a feature writer and reporter. She has been the Pacific Reporter for TVNZ 1 News since 2002, breaking stories uncovering social and economic issues affecting Pacific people living in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Her investigative journalism has exposed major fraud, drug smuggling, corruption and human trafficking, leading to multiple arrests and decisive government action. Her reporting of the 2019 Samoa measles outbreak won two major awards at New Zealand’s Voyager Media Awards. Domestically, her stories focus on advocating for vulnerable and marginalised Pacific communities. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she self-produced daily regional Pacific bulletins for distribution in the islands and exposed the inequalities experienced by Pacific people during the response, resulting in changes in governmental policy and partnerships with Pasifika providers. In 2020, she created a two-year training programme through the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Ltd to support new Pacific journalists across the Pacific region. Ms Dreaver was appointed as a member of the Establishment Board for the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media body in 2022.

Philip Gifford - For services to broadcasting and sports journalism

Mr Philip Gifford is an award-winning sports journalist, writer and radio and television broadcaster.

Mr Gifford began his journalism career as a reporter for the New Zealand Herald in 1965 and subsequently worked as a news reporter for the Auckland Star. In 1973 he began writing a column under the pseudonym ‘Loosehead Len’, a rugby character which ran for 36 years. He has since written columns for the Sunday Star-Times, North and South magazine and currently writes a weekly sports column in the New Zealand Herald. He has won New Zealand Sports Columnist of the Year three times. He attended and reported on one Olympic Games, four Commonwealth Games and covered all Rugby World Cups and test matches played by the All Blacks since 1987. He was the first person to be twice judged Sports Journalist of the Year. 

From 1980 to 2021 he co-hosted radio shows on Radio Hauraki, 91 ZM, More FM, Newstalk ZB and hosted a Saturday morning rugby show on Radio Sport for several years. He has received 14 New Zealand radio awards. For more than 20 years he hosted and contributed to television shows including Game of Two Halves and That’s Fairly Interesting. Mr Gifford has authored 27 books, including Dame Valerie Adams’ 2012 biography, Valerie.

Robert Holding - For services to Pacific literature and business

Mr Robert Holding has contributed to the promotion and publication of Pacific literature through his Pasifika Bookshop store and publishing company Pasifika Press, established in 1976.

Mr Holding established the bookshop to continue to preserve and celebrate Pacific languages and cultures and to provide a safe inviting space for Pacific people to own their languages and culture. He established Pasifika Press to provide books by and for Pacific people, coordinating the expertise of many Pacific writers, academics and artists to publish more than twenty original works. 

He published his first book Tala O Le Vavau: The Myths, Legends and Customs of Old Samoa, which has sold more than 20,000 copies. The most significant project has been the English and Samoan translation of Kramer: The Samoa Islands – Volumes 1 and 2, of great cultural significance to the Samoan people. He has promoted Pasifika Press titles and Pacific books through library conferences, Frankfurt and London Book Fairs, Pasifika Festivals and through targeted media such as Tagata Pasifika. 

He has assisted in the establishment of bookshops in Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Niue, and assisted with the University of South Pacific regional training workshops for writers, publishers and booksellers. Mr Holding has developed joint publishing and distribution agreements to continue the publication of Pacific books.

Jodi Wright - For services to the arts

jodi wright.jpg
Jodi Wright. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Jodi Wright has made a significant contribution to Christchurch’s literary and performing arts scene for more than 30 years.

Ms Wright has directed several large-scale cultural and literary events, bringing cultural creativity to the city. Her events have actively engaged professional international artists, performers and musicians and provided emerging young talent the opportunity to showcase Christchurch’s arts scene on the global stage. From 1993 to 1999 she was the Artistic Director for the Festival of Romance, later directing the Southland Buskers Festival and the Sidewalk Art Project. For two decades she was the director of the World Buskers Festival, bringing unique and diverse performers to Christchurch’s streets. 

In 1997 she co-founded WORD Christchurch (formerly Books and Beyond), a writers’ festival hosting literary events and workshops providing the opportunity for audiences to engage with international authors. She organised and directed the event for eight years. Following the Christchurch earthquakes, she was involved in several projects to revitalise the city’s art scene including the Christchurch – Seattle Sister City Committee and Life in Vacant Spaces. She has worked as an events advisor for many organisations, including the Arts Centre of Christchurch and Christchurch City Council. Ms Wright has been the Director of the International Jazz and Blues Festival since 1998.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Harriet Allan - For services to the publishing industry    

Ms Harriet Allan has worked as a publisher championing New Zealand literature and many of the country’s most recognised writers in a career spanning 35 years.

Ms Allan studied English Literature and Language at the University of Edinburgh before emigrating to New Zealand in 1986. She worked for a medical publisher, then Oxford University Press before joining Century Hutchinson in 1989, which later became Random House and subsequently Penguin Random House. She has dedicated her career to the publishing industry, developing and nurturing numerous New Zealand writers including Dame Fiona Kidman, Owen Marshall and Fiona Farrell, and supporting Māori writing including working with Patricia Grace and Tina Makereti. 

Since 2009 she has worked with Witi Ihimaera, publishing several of his works, including his memoirs, adult fiction, the non-fiction work Navigating the Stars and his children’s book The Astromancer. In 2017 she championed the publication of Black Marks on the White Page, an Oceanic anthology edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, and followed it with several other significant anthologies of Māori writing, including Pūrākau

Dozens of the writers she has supported have been recognised with national and international literary awards. Ms Allan supports new writers through mentoring, giving talks and involvement in the Sunday Star Times short story competition and the Michael King Writers Centre.

Kira Hundleby - For services to Pacific arts

Ms Kira Hundleby is a multifaceted artist, creative producer, and social justice advocate for Melanesian and Pacific Peoples.

Ms Hundleby is Co-Chair of the Melanesian Steering Group to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and has helped achieve national recognition of the Solomon Islands Pisin and Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin Language Weeks to be included in the Pacific Language Weeks 2024. She has been an elected member of Wellington City Council’s Pacific Advisory Group for six years. 

She co-founded Hundleby and Chalmers Productions in 2012 and has worked in creative production of community and national arts projects and festivals. This has included the annual Wellington Pasifika Festival, Waitangi Day, WOMAD and CubaDupa festivals. She is a member of the Public Programmes Team (Pacific) with Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand. She co-founded Melanesian Women and Friends and was instrumental in organising the Wellington organisation’s dinner with the New Zealand Police in 2018, to encourage more Melanesian people to be recruited to the Police. 

She was Co-Founder and creator of the World Peace Day Festival 2015, working in partnership with local iwi, government partners, community organisations and Pacific communities in Dunedin. Ms Hundleby has been active in promoting African, Melanesian, Māori and Pacific indigenous communities through music, dance and creative methodologies throughout New Zealand.

Vaosa ole Tagaloa Makerita Urale - For services to Pacific arts

Vaosa ole Tagaloa Makerita Urale has worked as a writer, documentary director and arts producer in New Zealand and internationally for more than 20 years.

Ms Urale’s play Frangipani Perfume (1998) was the first Pacific play written by a woman with an all-female cast and was listed in the Top 10 Plays of the Decade by the New Zealand Listener. This play became a key text in theatre studies and toured nationally and internationally to Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. She directed Children of the Revolution, a political documentary which explored the 1970s and 1980s protest movement, following six key activists and their children. This documentary won the Best Māori Programme at the 2008 Qantas Awards. She directed and produced Savage Symbols (2002), which looked at the traditional art of Samoan tattooing (pe’a) for men. 

A Fulbright New Zealand alumni, Ms Urale led the development of Creative New Zealand’s inaugural Pacific Arts Strategy.

Tama Waipara - For services to Māori music

Tama Waipara. Photo: Strike Photography.

Mr Tama Waipara (Ngāti Ruapani, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou) is a cultural arts advocate, composer and performer and has been the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival since founding it in 2019.

Mr Waipara has been influencing the development of Māori music and young musicians through actively showcasing Māori musicians locally and internationally, particularly through Festivals such as Auckland Arts where he was Creative Associate. He is a Waiata Māori Music Awards Ambassador and has advocated for equitable Māori representation at the former Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards since 2015. He has been a member of Pūatatangi, the national committee of Māori musicians and has been supporting rangatahi in New Zealand through the ‘Pao! Pao! Pao! Tuakana-Teina Mentoring programme’. 

He is Deputy Chair of Rongowhakaata Iwi Trust and a Board Member of Te Papa Tongarewa National Museum. He composed the soundtrack for Merata: How Mum Decolonised The Screen and the feature film Mahana. Mr Waipara received the Best Roots Album award for his album Fill up the Silence at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards.   

Philippa Laufiso - For services to arts and the community

Ms Philippa Laufiso has been an Education Adviser for Priority Learners with the Ministry of Education for Southland/Otago since 2015 and has volunteered as a Committee member, Trustee and Co-Chair of the Otago Early Childhood and Schools’ Māori and Pacific Island Festival, also known as Otago Polyfest.

Ms Laufiso was Co-Chair for the 25th Otago Polyfest in 2018, one of the biggest volunteer-run community events in New Zealand. She was involved with a collaborative project with the Art and Design Schools at Otago Polytechnic to produce banners for Otago Polyfest in 2012. She was a Trustee on the Board of the Otago Community Trust from 2013 to 2021, supporting the Trust to fund charitable purposes and provide grants to not-for-profit community groups. 

Ms Laufiso is an adviser on the University of Otago’s Secondary to Tertiary Transitions Project team and is involved with Dunedin City Council’s Ōtepoti Creative Workshop Development Committee, which aims to simplify and strengthen vocational pathways for secondary and tertiary students who want to work in the arts in Dunedin and Otago.

Trevor Kempton - For services to the arts and local government

Mr Trevor Kempton has contributed his business expertise to support the arts on a voluntary basis.

Mr Kempton has had a long-term involvement with Brass Bands as a player and held administrative and leadership roles with Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass and St Kilda Brass. He served as a National Executive Member of the Brass Bands Association of New Zealand, focusing on youth development and sustainability. He chaired the Southern Brass Academy from inception in 2007 until 2011, actively supporting the Allbrassclass learning initiative, and is a Trustee of the Ken Smith Players Trust. 

He joined the Board of Choirs New Zealand from 2004, serving as a trustee and Chair. He led the negotiation of long-term funding through the Creative New Zealand Kahikatea programme improving the financial sustainability of the organisation. He is currently a trustee of the Choir’s foundation, a key Committee member of the Dunedin Community Music centre from 1994, focusing on its financial stability. 

He served as a trustee and Chair of the Dunedin Arts Festival, guiding the organisation through a period of considerable change. Mr Kempton served as an Otago Regional Councillor from 2010 to 2019, chairing the regional Transport Committee and helped re-establish Engineering New Zealand’s Otago Heritage chapter as its Chair in 2016.

Jane Sinclair - For services to art and education

Ms Jane Sinclair is a professional wildlife and landscape artist who has also taught painting for more than 30 years.

Ms Sinclair began painting architectural watercolours while studying architecture at the University of Auckland. She began exhibiting at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in 1991, with her first solo show held there in 1995. Her teaching began at Inverlochy Art School from 1992 to 1995. She taught at several adult education and art centres in the Wairarapa from 1996, and has provided adult art education classes at the Masterton Art Club and private tuition in the Wairarapa region since 2010. 

She has exhibited at many art shows and galleries in both the Wairarapa region and nationally, including Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts for 20 years, which includes six solo exhibitions. Ms Sinclair served as President of the Masterton Art Club Inc from 2016 to 2018 and was the founding Chair of the ConArt Gallery and Studios Inc in Masterton from 2016 to 2021, an arts collective for Wairarapa artists to showcase their work and engage with visitors.

Tupe Lualua - For services to the arts   

Tupe Lualua. Photo: Moana Palelei HoChing.

Ms Tupe Lualua is a dancer, choreographer, actor, director, producer and arts educator.

Ms Lualua helped establish Waka Ura Cultural Dance Company, who were awarded the Emerging Artist Award at the 2007 Creative New Zealand (CNZ) Arts Pacific Awards. From 2009 to 2019 she taught Samoan Performing Arts at Whitireia New Zealand, creating live works for performances in New Zealand, Europe, Asia and North America. In 2013, she founded Le Moana and created works such as Fatu Na Totō, 1918 and Purple Onion. These works toured internationally and won several awards at the San Diego International Fringe Festival. 

As a performer she featured in PolyZygotic (2009), The Factory (2011), Regine Chopinot’s In Situ (2011 to 2013), Marama (2014), The White Guitar (2015) and A Boy Called Piano (2022). From 2020 to 2022 she was the tutor for Movement and Creative Practice at Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School. 

In 2013 she established the ‘Measina Festival’, which today serves as an integral springboard for cutting-edge theatre by emerging artists. She produces for an award-winning artist and manages production for Te Kiwa Nui Festival for secondary schools in the Porirua region. Ms Lualua was awarded the CNZ Sāmoa Artist in Residence in 2019 and created a dance work on the importance of culture on Samoan ecology.  

Anuradha Ramkumar - For services to Indian classical dance

Mrs Anuradha Ramkumar established Nrityabhinaya Anuradha’s School of Indian Dances in 1996, which has contributed to two classical styles of Indian dance forms in Auckland.

Mrs Ramkumar has been providing opportunities for future generations of New Zealand Indians to maintain links to their cultural heritage through dance. In the process, she has helped hundreds of youths and adults graduate every year through Arangetrams (graduation) ceremony. Her students feature in various community events across New Zealand and her annual dance productions. 

Through her dance school she has worked to preserve two classical forms of dance, Bharatha Natyam and Kuchipudi, and has been a Guru (teacher) to more than 500 students across 26 years. She has incorporated elements of Māori culture as an ode to recognising connections between Indians in New Zealand and tangata whenua. Mrs Ramkumar has directed several dance productions depicting Indian mythologies and social themes including Ramayan, Suryaputra Karna, Maha Yugas, and Krishna Leela amongst others.

Marnie Barrell - For services as a hymn writer

Ms Marnie Barrell has been contributing to hymn writing in New Zealand for more than 40 years.

Ms Barrell is a music teacher, a lay preacher and musician at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Christchurch and has been hymn writing since 1986. She has written many hymns, most of which have been published in Alleluia Aotearoa (1993), Carol our Christmas (1996), Faith Forever Singing (2000), the Church Hymnary (2005), and Hope is our song (2009) and also posted on the United States-based Oremus Hymnal website. 

Her writing has reached countries including Canada, Australia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, as well as featured in the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology in the United Kingdom. She is a featured hymnodist and writer on both the Oremus and the websites. She is a current board member of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. Ms Barrell’s music and writing is represented in the National Library of New Zealand and New Zealand Choirs have recorded her music to be played on Radio New Zealand’s Concert channel.

The Queen's Service Medal 

Ewen Coleman - For services to theatre

Mr Ewen Coleman has been involved in theatre as a director and producer for more than 40 years.

Mr Coleman has served on several committees in various positions including secretary, president and treasurer. He has been a member of the Wellington District Theatre Federation since the 1970s and has held all executive committee member positions. He has been a member of the Wellington Repertory Theatre since 1976, was made a Life Member in 1989 and is the current Secretary. 

He has been involved in the executive committee of Theatre New Zealand and the Association of New Zealand Drama Adjudicators. He was made a Life Member of Theatre New Zealand in 1996. He travels to direct shows for societies and runs technical workshops to help hundreds of actors. Mr Coleman has been a trustee and current Treasurer of Theatre Archives New Zealand since 2007.

Katie Terris - For services to the community and the arts

Mrs Katie Terris is a pottery teacher and has been involved in several community initiatives in Lower Hutt for 45 years.

Mrs Terris became involved in the Play Centre movement in Lower Hutt in the 1970s and was a supervisor from 1979 to 1984. She was an art tutor for adults at the former Hutt Valley Memorial College and Petone College until 1999. She was President of the Hutt Art Society from 2000 to 2004. During her tenure, she led a working collaboration with Hutt Valley High School to deliver a series of community education art classes and workshops for adults. 

She encouraged themed exhibitions at the Odlin Gallery, enabling it to widen its appeal. She has been patron for more than 25 years of the IHC Hutt Valley Association, an organisation supporting disabled people living in the community, and ran pottery classes for people with intellectual disabilities. She was employed as office manager at Volunteer Hutt from 2006 to 2020. Mrs Terris has been Patron of the Hutt Valley Horticultural Society since 2014.

Allan Kerr - For services to music

Mr Allan Kerr has been involved in choirs and musical productions throughout the South Island for more than 50 years.

Mr Kerr trained as a teacher in Dunedin in 1961 before establishing a number of school choirs in Otago and Southland. He organised two music festivals, which encouraged large numbers of local children to become involved in singing. In 1971 he was appointed the Head of the Department of Music at Fairlie High School/Mackenzie College, a position he held for more than 20 years. While in this role, he encouraged students to become involved in music and singing and played a key part in establishing the school’s orchestra. 

He helped establish the Young Performers Concert, which continues to run more than 30 years later and which recognises and encourages young musicians to demonstrate their musical abilities. He has also been musical director for a number of musical productions by the MacKenzie Theatre Group. He has conducted the Midland Choir for 20 years, a community choir in Timaru which fundraises for charity through its musical performances. Within his wider community, Mr Kerr has served on the Mackenzie Cooperating Parish Committee for many years and was on the Fairlie Community Board for three terms in the 1990s.

Manisha Morar - For services to the Indian community

Mrs Manisha Morar has been a prominent leader and respected voice in the Indian community, and as a member of the New Zealand Indian Central Association national body since 2001, she held offices for seven years including Vice President.

Mrs Morar has organised conferences, written submissions and developed frameworks and strategies to raise the profile of the New Zealand Indian community. For more than 25 years, she has served the Wellington Indian Association, holding several voluntary roles including President, Gujarati language teacher and Historian since 2010. In promoting Indian culture, she organised numerous events, including leading the city’s Diwali celebrations Namaste Wellington. 

She was instrumental in curating two national exhibitions, MOKAA: The Land of Opportunity a photographic exhibition celebrating 125 years of Indian diaspora in New Zealand and an exhibition acknowledging the contribution of Chinese and Indian ANZACs held at Pukeahu National War Museum. In 2018, she led the publication of the book Invisible detailing Indian migrant experiences, and later incorporated New Zealand Indian narratives and developed school resources for the New Zealand history curriculum. She has been a member of the Multicultural Council of Wellington for nine years. Mrs Morar is a member of the Migrant Community Reference Group, providing cultural advice on Immigration, and the New Zealand Police Wellington District Ethnic Advisory Group.

Jennifer Schollum - For services to the community and heritage preservation    

Mrs Jennifer Schollum has volunteered in Puhoi, Auckland for more than 50 years.

Mrs Schollum has been involved with the Puhoi Historical Society since 1985, now the Puhoi Heritage Museum. She has been past President and Secretary and is currently Treasurer, historian, museum coordinator, archivist and newsletter editor. She has worked on compiling folders for all of the families who came to Puhoi in 1863 from Bohemia and spends up to four days a week volunteering at the museum, helping families trace their ancestry. She founded and has led the Puhoi Bohemian Dance Group since 1987, which has performed for various community and school groups. 

She has been involved in organising an anniversary celebration marking 150 years since the arrival of Bohemian settlers in New Zealand. She contributed her knowledge of Bohemian settlers and appeared on an episode of the television show ‘Passengers’ in 2023. She was Puhoi Public Cemetery Secretary from 1986 to 2004 and has been Treasurer of Puhoi Community Forum since 2014. She was on the Puhoi Centennial Hall Committee and Secretary and Treasurer from 1992 to 1996. She has organised ANZAC Day commemorations between 2015 and 2017. Mrs Schollum received a Rodney District Council Community Award in 2005 recognising her contributions.

Susan Jordan - For services to seniors and dance

Ms Susan Jordan has spent five decades contributing to dance as a performer, choreographer, teacher, writer, and academic.

Ms Jordan founded the programme of Dance Studies at the University of Auckland and set up the Auckland DANZ office. She established SeniorsDANCE in 2011, offering dance classes for those aged above 60 in Auckland, providing a space for positive ageing and supporting the health and wellbeing of the elderly. She is the curator of Aspire Dance Show which provides a platform for older dancers to be able to perform and contribute to the performing arts. In 2018 she was awarded a Creative New Zealand grant for the research of ‘creative ageing’, which she has used to promote the arts as an important means of creative expression for older people. 

Ms Jordan is one of the founders and immediate past President of the Northern Dance Network, a charitable organisation that provides dance pathways and opportunities for the community.

Rai Vaeruarangi - For services to the Cook Islands community

Ms Rai Vaeruarangi has contributed to the Wiri community since the 1980s through various organisations.

Ms Vaeruarangi was a committee member of the Wiri Whānau Support Group between 1984 and 2008, which included time organising the Wiri Neighbourhood Police Team. She established a Cook Island language nest, initially from her own home in 1991, which later operated from the Wiri Community House until 1996. She has been Cultural and Arts Community Trustee of Akatokamanava Mauke Enua Inc since 2009. She has been involved in a range of displays and performances, including organising the Cook Islands Mauke cultural group’s performance at 2022 Te Toki Māori festival and co-organising the Te Mekameka O Toku Ipukarea Treasure of My Homeland display at Auckland Museum in 2021. 

She is a Community Champion for the Wiri Neighbourhood for The Cause Collective’s One Love South Auckland initiative. She volunteers on the Board of Iramoko Marae and the committee of Mataatua Marae Mangere. Ms Vaeruarangi was on the Wiri Central Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1995, including time as Chair, and President of the Manukau Central Kindergarten Committee from 1988 to 1996.

Honorary Queen’s Service Medal

Sadun Kithulagoda - For services to the Sri Lankan community   

Mr Sadun Kithulagoda has contributed significantly to Wellington’s Sri Lankan expatriate community for more than 20 years.

He has been an Events Coordinator for the Sri Lankan Dance Academy Incorporated for 20 years, creating stage sets and backdrops for the dance troupe’s performances at Diwali and multicultural festivals organised by Wellington City Council. 

Mr Kithulagoda has been a member of the United Sri Lanka Association (USLA) since emigrating to New Zealand in 1992 and has been pivotal in supporting USLA’s community events and fundraising activities. He was President of USLA from 2013 to 2016 and was instrumental in promoting a generational shift in the association’s membership towards younger migrants. He was the Programme Director of Lak Handa, Sri Lankan Community Radio for 25 years, creating a fortnightly programme to connect the Wellington Sri Lankan community. 

He trained as a traditional Sri Lankan marriage celebrant, volunteering his services at weddings throughout New Zealand. He has organised the Sri Lankan float at Wellington’s Christmas Street Parade for more than ten years, bringing greater cultural enrichment to the event. Mr Kithulagoda volunteers with a group of medical professionals who travel to Sri Lanka annually to perform complex surgical procedures and organise shipments of equipment to hospitals.