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

To be a Companion of the said Order:

BAXTER, Mr Paul Richard

For services to the New Zealand Fire Service

Mr Paul Baxter was Chief Executive and National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service from 2012 until stepping down in March 2017.

Mr Baxter joined the NZFS in 1981 as a volunteer firefighter, before becoming a career recruit in 1986 and rising through the ranks of senior firefighter, station officer, senior station officer and Chief Fire Officer. He volunteered and worked part-time with St John as an Ambulance Officer from 1987 to 2009. As Chief Executive of NZFS he drove a culture change within the organisation. He has prioritised the safety of firefighters and the public and overseen high-profile social marketing campaigns to raise public awareness of fire risk and incident prevention. He led the merger of urban and rural fire services into Fire and Emergency New Zealand, to take effect from July 2017, the biggest reform of fire services in New Zealand since the 1940s. He has implemented many of the recommendations from the independent Fire Services Review of 2012. Internationally Mr Baxter was co-Chair of the United Nation’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group Asia-Pacific Region and was appointed President of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council in 2016, the first time a New Zealand representative has been appointed as Chair of the Board.

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To be a Companion of the said Order:

GARNER, Ms Mary Anne

For services to the community

Mrs Mary Garner has worked at the Nelson Tasman Region Hospice Trust since 1987 and has contributed to her local Nelson community.

Mrs Garner was the Manager of Volunteers Services for the Hospice for almost 30 years. She has worked consistently to ensure that the Hospice delivers a range of extra services through its volunteers that it would not otherwise be able to provide or afford. She has developed a database of more than 260 volunteers who the Hospice can call on to assist with many valuable services, including in-patient-unit volunteer assistants and life story writers. She held three-day training sessions to prepare volunteers for their work and would consistently follow-up on the volunteers’ well-being with regular phone calls, visits, training and guidance. She is also actively involved with Volunteer Nelson and is a regular attendee at meetings and forums. Mrs Garner is now the Volunteer Manager of Patient Services and works to ensure that the Hospice provides high quality care to its patients. Since 2002 the Hospice has recorded in excess of 8,000 volunteer referrals and her contributions have left an enduring positive impact on the local community.

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To be a Companion of the said Order:

GAVIN, Mrs Mary Bernadette

For services to women and the community

Mrs Mary Gavin has been an advocate for gender equality for more than 40 years and has held many leadership roles with the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ), including terms as a National Board member and Public Issues Standing Committee Convenor.

Locally Mrs Gavin has represented the Federation of Graduate Women (NZFGW) at the Nelson branch of NCWNZ and has taken responsibility in all Branch office roles for various terms as well as representing NCWNZ on external committees. She has done extensive work at branch and national level for constitutional and communication reforms including initiatives for contemporary management structures and in NGO reporting to CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women). Other voluntary community leadership roles over many years in Nelson have been in heritage, education and social wellbeing areas. Mrs Gavin is the Chair of the Broadgreen Historic House Society, Deputy Chair of City of Nelson Civic Trust, a Life member of SPELD (Specific Learning Difficulties Association) and a former Board member of Nelson Women’s Refuge and the Nelson Heritage Protection Trust.

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To be a Companion of the said Order:

GORMAN, Mr Michael John

For services to the community

Mr Michael Gorman has been City Missioner and Chief Executive of the Christchurch City Mission since 2004.

Following the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 Mr Gorman led the development of the Mission’s processes and resources to support those affected, while ensuring the usual work of the Mission continued. During this time he initiated the Women’s Night Shelter, the Men’s Day Programme, and short-term accommodation for families in conjunction with the City Council, all services which continue today. He employed a social worker to offer mobile support throughout the eastern suburbs of Christchurch and connect people with services available to help them. He played a central role in the design and raising of $7 million for the replacement of the City Mission buildings. The continuing support and sponsorship of the Mission through such partners as The Press, Harvey Cameron Group, Foodstuffs and The Crusaders is largely attributable to his relationship building and commitment. He has been an active Rotary member and Club President. Mr Gorman has previously been a social worker, practice manager and supervisor with Child, Youth and Family, and held roles with the New Zealand Society of the Intellectually Handicapped in the early 1980s.

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To be a Companion of the said Order:

JOLLY, Mrs Deirdre Anne

For services to the community

Mrs Deirdre Jolly has been Chair of the Alexandra Council of Social Services since 1979 and has seen the organisation grow to its current membership of 50 allied organisations.

As Chair Mrs Jolly has overseen the establishment of the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Dunstan Work Trust, relationship services and the appointments of a substance abuse counsellor, a volunteer coordinator and a youth worker, as well as the establishment of Age Awareness Week and a Social Services Centre. She has been involved in the Victim Support and Budgeting Service Management Committees, and more recently as a member of the Alexandra Community House inaugural committee and Trust. She joined the Citizens’ Advice Bureau as a volunteer in 1990 and remains a member of the subsequent group, the Alexandra Community Advice Network. She held positions on the New Zealand Association of Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and regional CAB committees. She helped establish a branch of the National Council of Women in Central Otago and is a long-time member of the Catholic Women’s League, serving at parish, diocesan and national levels. She has been a committee member for the Alexandra Blossom Festival since 1973 and received the inaugural Blossom Festival Cup for her services. Mrs Jolly was a Councillor on the Alexandra Borough Council from 1977 to 1989.

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To be a Companion of the said Order:

SIPELI, Mrs Mokataufoou Togakilo

For services to the Niue community and education

Mrs Mokataufoou Sipeli established the first Niue Language Nest in Wellington in 1984 and was a founding member of the Niue Aoga Tama Ikiiki playgroups in Alicetown, Newtown and Cannons Creek.

Mrs Sipeli has continued her involvement with the Porirua language nest Aoga Tama Ikiiki since 1989. She was integral in the partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Wellington Free Kindergarten Association in the establishment of New Zealand’s first tri-lingual Pacific kindergarten, Toru Fetu Kindergarten in Cannons Creek in 2010. She has written children’s stories in the Niue language for New Zealand school journals and has been involved in translation work for government departments, churches and community organisations. From 1970 to 2005 she was involved with the Pacific Presbyterian Congregational Church Newtown and St James Congregation Wellington, during which time she led Niue Sunday School programmes, the St James Women’s Fellowship, and was involved with cultural performances, church conferences and the teaching of language classes. She is a long-time teacher of the art of traditional Niue weaving and several of her works are held by Te Papa Tongarewa. Mrs Sipeli was involved in the organisation of the first biennial conference of Hulaaga Vagahau Niue in 2003, a network of Niue teachers and others vested in the promotion of the Niue language.

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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