PM congratulates Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The 183 honours recipients includes four Dame and three Knight Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

“Every honours recipient has made a valuable contribution to their community and our country. Their commitment to excellence and service represents the best of New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“It is with a sadness that we recognise Yvette Corlett as a Dame Companion for her pioneering contribution to athletics. As the first New Zealand women to win an Olympic gold medal she was a trailblazer. In addition to her ground-breaking athletics success she undertook lifelong service to sport as a volunteer and administrator.

“I think many Kiwis will agree that Yvette’s recognition at this level was long overdue - but I’m pleased that she knew she was to become a Dame before she passed away.

“Areta Koopu has committed her life to the advancement of Maori in both paid and voluntary capacities. She’s been a former President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a Human Rights Commissioner, a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, she sat on Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board and was a member of the Aids Foundation board.

Yvette Corlett and Areta Koopu are joined by new Dames Susan Bagshaw and Fran Walsh.

“Rugby league legend Graham Lowe has been honoured as a Knight Companion for his post league career for services to youth and education. Graham’s Lowie Foundation has been a lifeline for teenagers struggling with school, helping them on a pathway to training and work. In recent years he has expanded his work into prisons with 200 young men at Ngawha and other sites have graduating his course, helping to break the cycle of reoffending.

“Roger Hall’s prolific contribution to the New Zealand stage and screen is without peer. For decades he has reflected back to us stories about who we are as New Zealanders, often containing spot on social criticism of our public life. He is a giant of the local arts community and a worthy recipient of this honour.

Graham Lowe and Roger Hall are joined by new Knight Paul Adams.

“I congratulate all 183 honours recipients and thank them for their leadership and service,” Jacinda Ardern said.