5 Jun 2018

Aupito praises Pacific recipients of Queen's Birthday honours

6:46 am on 5 June 2018

The Pacific recipients in this year's Queen's Birthday honours list work tirelessly within community, the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says.

The Labour spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Su'a William Sio.

The Labour spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Su'a William Sio. Photo: RNZ/Daniela Maoate-Cox

Former Labour MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban leads the list of Pacific people recognised this year.

Luamanuvao was formally invested as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit today for services to education and the Pacific community.

Aupito said all the recipients had made a significant contribution, whether at a community or national level, to make a lasting difference in their communities.

"This year is particularly special because of the high number of women receiving honours for their services to New Zealand and this includes an amazing group of Pacific women."

The Pacific recipients had been honoured for their contribution to sports, politics, education, business, religion and the arts, and all continued to be role models and inspiration for the next generation, Aupito said.

Also in this year's honour's list - three Pacific women were made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

The captain of the New Zealand women's World Cup winning rugby team, Fiao'o Faamausili, for her services for rugby.

Artistic Director Nina Nawalowalo for her services to theatre and Pacific culture.

And Caren Rangi for services to the Pacific community and governance.

Saimoni Lealea, Reverend Setaita Veikune, Jacqueline Clarke and Darryl Bill Suasua each become Honorary Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Tafafuna'i Fa'atasi Lauese, Reverend Perema Leasi and Lucky Richard Slade received the Queen's Service Medal.