Pacific values celebrated in Honour's list

  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Pacific Peoples Ministerial Services Defence

The Pacific People’s Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has welcomed the inclusion of 7 Pacific recipients in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours list.

“Service to family and the community is one of the core Pacific values. These outstanding individuals have worked tirelessly to serve and help their communities,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

"These recipients have strengthened their communities and worked to ensure Pacific people maintain links to their culture while being part of the wider New Zealand community.”

Included in the 2016 list are the following people of Pacific heritage:

Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

Neil Ieremia – For services to dance

Mr Ieremia’s dance company Black Grace is a highly recognisable and iconic cultural brand.

Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Mrs Huhana (Susana) Tetane Lemisio  - For services to the Tokelau community and early childhood education

“Mrs Lemisio, from Petone, epitomises the true and genuine spirit of what it means to serve for the betterment of others,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Mrs Mele Fakatali Nemaia  - For services to the Niuean community

“For 20 years Mrs Nemaia has worked tirelessly to promote the Niuean language in New Zealand.”

Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae  - For services to the Pacific community and youth

Ali’imuamua is an independent director of Pasifika Futures Limited, the Pacific Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency. Many of Ali’imuamua’s governance roles have contributed to improving the well-being of families and communities in Auckland.

Dr Monique Faleafa  - For services to the Pacific community and health           

Dr Faleafa has served Pacific communities in the not-for-profit sector, district health boards, academia and social services for over 17 years as a clinician and as an advocate for improving health and social outcomes for Pacific communities.

Queen’s Service Medal (QSM)

Reverend Tevita Finau  - For services to the Tongan community

“Rev Finau has been the community contact person for Tongans who came to New Zealand as international students or on 3 month work schemes.  He created homework centres for children and organised a mentoring group at the Northcote Methodist Church that helped impact and inspire Pacific children’s attitudes towards education and life,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

Mrs Selma Theresa Scott - For services to the Pacific community

Mrs Scott has held numerous roles that focus on improving outcomes of Pacific Peoples, including the Chair of Pacific Trust Canterbury and PACIFICA Women.