(Picture caption: Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga)
Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga a Pacific champion during the COVID 19 pandemic, has been made a Knight in the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List 2022.
Dr Tukuitonga , a Niuean, has been a champion of many health initiatives from establishing a Cancer Control Strategy, managing New Zealand’s response to the SARs threat and consulting on the Painted Apple Moth programme in West Auckland.
"Over the past two years he has been a calm and steady voice for immunisation in the Pacific," said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio.
Luteru (Ross) Taylor a cricketing stalwart for the Blackcaps has been appointed as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit following his decision to retire from the red ball game.
"A formidable sportsman, Luteru has scored a truly amazing 18,145 runs across all cricket’s formats. He has been a coach for young players in Samoa and Papua New Guinea and inspires young Pasifika everywhere," said Aupito William Sio.
Also receiving an honour this year is the operatic bass Jonathan Lemalu. Mr Lemalu is appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to opera.
"Jonathan has performed at the Met in New York and the Royal Opera House in London. Many of us will remember when he sang the national anthem at the 2011 World Rugby Cup," said Hon Aupito William Sio.
Mangere College Pacific language champion, Mrs Melegalenu’u Ah Sam has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
"Now deputy principal at Mangere she drove the Pacific languages teaching in South Auckland when she established the school’s languages L Block in 2012. This has become a hub for Māori and Pacific learning. Mrs Ah Sam has also been a stalwart supporter of all our Pacific students at the annual Polyfest festivals for many years.
"I wish all those Pasifika people who have been honoured the very best and I am delighted they remain champions for our communities," said Hon Aupito William Sio.