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Queen's Birthday Honours 2017 - Citations for Knight Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit

To be a Knight Companion of the said Order:


For services to youth

Mr Graeme Dingle was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to youth in 2001.

Mr Dingle established the first Outdoor Pursuits Centre in New Zealand in 1972, now known as Hillary Outdoors. He established Project K in 1995, which is now known as the Graeme Dingle Foundation where he continues to serve. More than 150,000 young people have benefitted from the Foundation’s programmes. These programmes encompass Kiwi Can (life skills and attitudes for 5-12 year olds), Stars which helps the transition to high school and builds leadership in the senior school; Project K (a 14 month mentoring programme for those with low self-confidence); Career Navigator which helps school leaders find career purpose and direction, and MYND (a referral programme for youth offenders). In 2016 the Foundation’s programmes had 22,000 participants and in 2017 the Foundation will reach 25,000 young people around the country. Mr Dingle has published 11 books, one of which was the winner of the Biography Section of the 2006 Montana Book Awards.


Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 2001

Member of the Order of the British Empire, Queen's Birthday 1988

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To be a Knight Companion of the said Order:

JONES, Mr Michael Niko, MNZM

For services to the Pacific community and youth

Mr Michael Jones is a former rugby union player and coach who has played in World Cups for New Zealand and has since been a driver of economic and social development for Pacific people in New Zealand and the Pacific region.

Mr Jones founded and is Chairman of the Village Community and Youth Trust, which emerged in 2003 out of a youth drop-in initiative in West Auckland to keep Pacific and Māori youth out of gang activity. He launched the Village Sports Academy in 2010 as part of the wider work of the Village Trust. He championed the establishment of Village Trust’s mentoring programme targeting Pacific students to stay in school and fulfil their educational potential, and the Street level Learning Academy for 15 to 18 year olds who had dropped out of school. He was instrumental in establishing the Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust, which established and sponsors the Pacific Advance Senior School, opened in 2015 to raise educational achievement of Pacific students who have traditionally struggled to fulfil their learning potential in mainstream settings. He is a Trustee of a number of Pacific economic and social transformational organisations, including the Community Christian Fellowship (CCF) in West Auckland. He was appointed Community Partnerships Manager at the Auckland University of Technology in 2001 and advocated for a Pacific seat on AUT’s executive, which resulted in the establishment of the Pasifika Advancement Office in 2004. Following the tsunami affecting Samoa and Tonga in 2009, Mr Jones assisted with organising the collection and distribution of emergency supplies to affected communities.


Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, New Year 1997

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To be a Knight Companion of the said Order:

KARETU, Professor Timoti Samuel, QSO

For services to the Māori language

Dr Timoti Karetu served as the inaugural Māori Language Commissioner from 1987 to 1999.

Dr Karetu was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for services to the Māori language in 1993. After stepping down as Māori Language Commissioner he served as Executive Director of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust until 2003. He remains the current Chairman of the Trust. He was a key instigator of the establishment of Te Panekiretanga o te Reo, the Institute of Excellence in Māori Language in 2003 and has been the Executive Director since inception. The Institute provides the most advanced Māori language academic course for adult students across New Zealand. He has been a regular contributor at national and international symposia, delivering presentations and papers on indigenous language revival and retention. Dr Karetu has been involved with the National Film Archive and has served on the Boards of Te Waka Toi, Toi Māori, and the National Library, as well as Chairperson of Aotearoa Traditional Māori Performing Arts Festival Committee and Te Māngai Pāhō.


Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, New Year 1993

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Last updated: 
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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