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Queen’s Honours For Whānau Ora Champions

“The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island is thrilled to see so many whānau champions of Te Waipounamu recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours announced today,” said Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu Pouārahi, Helen Leahy.

“Top of our list is our truly effervescent Tāua Aroha Reriti-Crofts who has been made a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community. Her presence in any hui ignites the passion of the people in her own unique way. As a former Māori Women’s Welfare League President, chairperson of Māori Women’s Development Inc, and chair of Matapopore Charitable Trust which has done so much to distinguish the visual landscape of Ōtautahi, Tāua Aroha has provided national and international leadership in so many spheres. She continues to influence the next generation through her work with the Ratana Hahi, with Te Puawaitanga and Tamariki Ora; and has been a vital mentor to us in Whānau Ora. We love you Tāua Aroha and are so very pleased that you know the nation does too.

“We are so proud too, of Matua Peter Ramsden, for his work with Mahaanui Kurataiao, with Te Rūnanga o Koukourarata and environmental restoration of the waterways. We have loved working with Matua Pete in all the initiatives that Koukourarata has established around its maara kai. It is also wonderful to see over four decades of scholarship being recognised with the honouring of Muriel Johnstone of Ōraka Aparima who has literally put Ngāi Tahu place names, whakapapa, traditions and history on the map as a key informant in Ka Huru Manu (Ngāi Tahu cultural mapping project).

“Our congratulations also to Lynne Harata Te Aika for her devotion to education, her dedication to te reo, and her constancy in leadership for Ngāi Tahu and beyond, out of her commitment to advancing whānau knowledge. Lynne is a strong advocate for rangatahi as well as an amazing example of a wahine toa in the way in which she contributes, both onstage and behind the scenes.

“We are heartened to see the Venerable Ani Wainui who has been such a pioneer in Māori education in Te Waipounamu being honoured. As an Archdeacon in the Māori Diocese of Te Waipounamu; principal for 27 years of Te Wharekura o Arowhenua in Invercargill and former chair of Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Aho Matua o Aotearoa, Whaea Ani has dedicated her life to the growth of te reo Māori.

“We acknowledge Ramari Stewart of Okarito, a tohunga tohorā, who has done so much to educate, guide and support whānau across Te Waipounamu in knowing what to do with whale stranding and customary recovery. She has supported whānau to be involved in recovery right from the start in appreciating ‘he taonga Tangaroa.”

“We also acknowledge Nelson Beneficiaries and Unwaged Workers Trust senior advocate Kay Brereton for the sterling efforts she has made in bringing the issues for beneficiaries to national attention; Marlborough woman, Melva Robb for her work with Rural Women, and Ngāi Tahu’s Trevor McGlinchey of Moeraki who as Executive Officer for the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services played a key role in the Welfare Expert Advisory Group Kia Piki Ake.

“We are delighted that the global talents of film director Taika Waititi and indigenous fashion designer, Kiri Nathan are recognised in this list. The entire list demonstrates the flair and the fortitude of so many outstanding New Zealanders, and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu gives recognition to them all.”

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