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Queen’s Birthday Honours illuminate Pacific contribution

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list is shining an illuminating spotlight on the strong contribution Pacific peoples are making to our diverse communities in New Zealand.

“It is exciting for me to see the recognition of so many people that represent our diverse Pacific identities in Aotearoa, and people whom we all know add significant value to making New Zealand a better place for us all by their constant service and advocacy for our youth, children, women, elderly groups, disabilities groups, LGBTQI+ groups, and trade unions,” says Aupito William Sio.

“These recipients continue to make a valuable contribution in the areas that lift Pacific people’s general wellbeing including health, education, climate change, religion, sports, Pacific languages, cultures and the arts.

Faumuina To’aletai David Mafaufau Tua is to be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to youth, boxing and the community. He received an MNZM in 2001 for his services to boxing.

“High Chief Faumuina To’aletai is better known as David Tua, and became the People’s Boxing Champion when he won the hearts and minds of all Samoans, the people of New Zealand and the wider Pacific region, when he fought against World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis.

“He’s doing fantastic work building confidence and resilience in the lives of young people out of his South Auckland gym.

Ms Phylesha Brown-Acton will be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific and LGBTQI+ communities.

“Phylesha is a well-known advocate for the rights of the Pacific rainbow community and doing a fantastic job in raising awareness and building greater understanding within the Pacific world.

Mr Tunumafono Avaula Colenso (Ava) Fa’amoe will be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community and health.

“Tunumafono Ava has been a role model for Pacific peoples and has provided good leadership over many years for the wellness, independence and health of people with disabilities.
Mrs Laine Leata Tipi (Toeolesulusulu Laine Leata Tipi), JP, will be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific communities and education.

“Toeolesulusulu Laine is a well-known champion for the educational successes of our children and their families and has been a strong champion of the use of the Samoan language at the ECE level curriculum.

“The contributions of all these recipients demonstrates their confidence, their innovation, their determination and resilience as they continually commit themselves to serving and supporting our Pacific communities throughout New Zealand.

“I firmly believe that all of our New Zealand society benefits from their efforts and I’m happy to join with their families and friends in celebrating their honours,” says Aupito William Sio.

The recipients are:


• Mr Mafaufau Sita Tua (David Tua), MNZM, for services to youth, boxing and the community


• Mrs Edith Amituanai, for services to photography and the community
• Ms Phylesha Brown-Acton, for services to the Pacific and LGBTQI+ communities
• Mr Tunumafono Avaula Colenso Fa'amoe, for services to the Pacific community and health
• Mrs Laine Leata Tipi, JP, for services to Pacific communities and education
• Dr Benjamin Williams, for services to theology and the community


• Ms Fala Haulangi, for services to the Pacific community and worker's rights
• Mrs Sagaa Malua, for services to the Tuvaluan community
• Ms Deborah Jane Martin, for services to conservation
• Mrs Tina Mataiti, for services to the Pacific community and health
• Mr Mupopo Siaosi, JP, for services to health and the Pacific community
• Reverend Tui Fakafotu Sopoaga, for services to the Tokelauan community
• Miss Rose Mary Mailee Kuluimotu Tauetule, for services to women and the Niuean community
• Mr Vaha Tuielu, for services to the Tokelauan community
• Mr Allan Leonardie Francis Va'a, for services to youth and sport
• Mrs Leutu Vaovasa, for services to the Tokelauan community

QSM (Honorary)

• Mr Perenise Tapu, for services to education and the Samoan community

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