Recognising arts and cultural champions
have been deservedly recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern said today.
“Arts and culture is an area close to my heart and I am delighted to see these awards recognise the talent and commitment of the many people who have made a huge difference in the lives of New Zealanders.
“So many New Zealanders will have heard of Flying Nun Records, the music label established in the early 1980s by Roger Shepherd, who receives an ONZM for services to the music industry. Flying Nun Records has introduced several generations to what we know as the Dunedin sound.
“Then there’s entertainer/singer/Breast Cancer Foundation ambassador Jackie Clarke who has been in the entertainment industry for more than 35 years and playwright and writer Briar Grace-Smith whose award recognises her ongoing contribution to theatre, film and television.
“Pioneering exponent of New Zealand hip hop Philip Bell aka DJ Sir-Vere has also been recognised for his nearly 30-year contribution to New Zealand’s unique music scene, while John Rowles’ outstanding international career and his services to our music industry is recognised with a KZNM.
“I also want to acknowledge the amazing behind the scenes dedication of Scott Blanks, who has received an ONZM in turning what was once a down-at-heel Auckland movie theatre into New Zealand’s first dedicated comedy club. Under Scott’s mentorship that venue, The Classic, has become the launching pad for many of this country’s professional comedians.
“Alongside Scott is esteemed writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and photographer Roger Donaldson, who has been involved in the production of feature films, documentaries and short films both in New Zealand and internationally, also receiving an ONZM. His name is synonymous with many of our celebrated movies including Smash Palace and The World’s Fastest Indian.
“Arts and culture underpin who we are as New Zealanders and having so many of our champions receive Queen’s Birthday Honours is fitting recognition of their valuable contribution,” Jacinda Ardern said.