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New Year Honours 2017 - Citations for Companions of the Queen's Service Order

To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

BISLEY, Mr Alastair Miles

For services to the State

Mr Alastair Bisley has been Chair of the Land and Water Forum, which has close to 70 stakeholder members, since 2008.

In this role Mr Bisley has moderated a multi-stakeholder consensus on the issue of freshwater policy reform, helping parties with different perspectives and interests to find common ground, and to report back to the Government on these outcomes. The Forum’s recommendations have formed the basis for decisions by Government and regional councils leading to progressive deployment of these recommendations. He has communicated the Forum’s work to the wider New Zealand community, speaking at numerous conferences, seminars and public engagement meetings. He has also chaired the Land and Water Trust, the legal entity which supports the Forum’s work. He has had a long career in the public service holding various roles, including a lengthy diplomatic career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1967 to 1998, during which time he held a range of posts and led a number of New Zealand delegations to trade negotiations and consultations. Mr Bisley was also Secretary of Transport from 1998 to 2004.

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To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

BLACKIE, Judge Charles Stuart, VRD

For services to the judiciary and the community

Judge Charles Blackie was appointed a District Court Judge in 1998 and has served the majority of his 18 years at Manukau District Court.

Judge Blackie was the Liaison Judge for the South Auckland Courts from 2002 to 2007, before becoming Executive Judge until 2012. He served on the National Jury Trial Committee, the Civil Committee, the Auckland Courts Delivery project, and the South Auckland Building Project committee and more recently on the Manukau re-build committee. He has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pitcairn Island since 2000, and advisor to the Governor of Pitcairn Island with overall responsibility for criminal trials on Pitcairn Island and at designated courts in New Zealand. He has been a member of the Court Martial Counsel Panel, Judge Advocate to the New Zealand Armed Forces and a Judge of the Court Martial Court. He has served on the Board of the Auckland Marriage Guidance Council and was a member of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority. Judge Blackie has conducted a mock court experience for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards programme on an annual basis and is currently Patron of the Limited Service Volunteer Scheme.


Volunteer Reserve Decoration 1983 and bar 1993

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To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

BOLTON, Mr Joel Patrick

For services to music

Mr Joel Bolton founded and conducts the Greenhill Orchestra, a community orchestra in Nelson now in its 25th year, as well as a Junior and Senior Youth Orchestra of which he has been Director since 2008.

Mr Bolton used his personal funds and a significant amount of his own time over the course of five years to establish and stabilise the youth orchestras in Nelson. The orchestras were established with no charge to join to allow young people the opportunity to be involved without any barriers, and are now run under the umbrella of the Nelson School of Music. The Senior orchestra now has around 35 advanced members, while the Junior orchestra has around 25 less advanced players. He toured the youth orchestras to Wellington in 2015 and regularly combines his three orchestras with other ‘Top of the South’ groups. He has taught flute and piano for more than 30 years and has pioneered music education in lower decile areas of the city. He recruited music teachers in the region to teach a range of instruments on a voluntary basis through a scheme he initiated at Victory School. A number of Mr Bolton’s students have gone on to achieve at national level and have contributed to Nelson’s reputation as a centre for music.

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To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

MCELREA, Mr Richard Gerald

For services as a coroner and to Antarctic heritage

Mr Richard McElrea was a coroner for more than 20 years and contributed to the development of the New Zealand Coronial Service.

Mr McElrea served as a Coroner at Christchurch for 21 years and was instrumental in establishing the Coroners’ Council in 1998, working to form relationships with Australian and English Coroners. He served as the Council’s Chair until it was disbanded with the establishment of a Chief Coroner under the Coroners’ Act 2006. He was instrumental in promoting the passage of the Act through Parliament and led the council in its submissions to the Select Committee. He also chaired the committee of the Asia Pacific Coroners’ Society which included coroners from a number of Pacific countries. He presided over many significant inquest hearings and was passionate about the need for independent investigations of air crashes and ship sinking. Many of his findings were of national importance, including transport-related deaths and deaths in prisons. Beyond his work as a coroner, he was the Chair of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, responsible for the care of the original explorer bases in the Ross sea region. Mr McElrea has been involved with the production of several books and papers on Antarctic exploration, as co-author, co-publisher, associate editor and researcher.

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To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

VIVIAN, Mrs Diane Marguerite

For services to seniors and youth

Mrs Diane Vivian founded the first support group for full-time grandparent caregivers in Birkenhead, Auckland in 1999, and in 2001 set up the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) Trust New Zealand, of which she is currently Executive Trustee.

GRG has since delivered support services throughout New Zealand to more than 6,000 full-time grandparent and whānau caregivers, which include a helpline, a monthly newsletter, caregiver training and specialist Field Officer services, advocacy and support on various issues, and liaison with other community organisations. Mrs Vivian has held a number of roles within GRG and continues to man the national helpline each week, personally fielding thousands of calls from grandparents requiring guidance and support. She has coordinated an annual GRG picnic in Auckland for hundreds of caregivers and children. She has advocated and lobbied for policy and law changes to improve the lives of grandparent/whānau care families and children. GRG is an award-winning organisation and a Ministry of Social Development contracted and recognised provider of support services. She has delivered talks at international conferences including the First International Summit for Grandparent and Kinship Caregivers in 2007. Mrs Vivian has been instrumental in guiding the development of GRG’s current research study ‘2016 Grandparent Whanau Care Survey on social and economic issues’.

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To be a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order:

WADE-BROWN, Ms Celia Margaret

For services to local government

Ms Celia Wade-Brown was Mayor of Wellington from 2010 until standing down in 2016.

Ms Wade-Brown was previously a Councillor for Wellington’s Southern Ward from 1994 to 1998 and 2001 to 2010. She was appointed to the New Zealand International Arts Festival Trust, and the TG Macarthy Trust. She has been involved with the establishment of Wellington Water and the Regional Economic Agency. She has strengthened business relationships between cities in China and Wellington. She was a founding member of the New Zealand Internet Society (now InternetNZ), a non-profit organisation set up in 1995 to promote and protect the Internet. She was also the founding Chair of the 2020Trust, which promotes digital literacy in New Zealand. In 2002 Ms Wade-Brown founded Living Streets Aotearoa, a walking advocacy organisation, and was inaugural President until 2009. Ms Wade-Brown led Wellington’s entry into both Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities and the Biophilic Cities Network.

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Last updated: 
Friday, 16 December 2016

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