(Picture caption: Young Vivian has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours. PHOTO: RNZ.)
A leading Pacific doctor in the fight against COVID-19 has been celebrated in this year’s New Year Honours List.
Former Premier of Niue Hon Mititaiagimene Young Vivian who led the Pacific nation in the 1990’s and 2000’s, spearheaded the response to Cyclone Heta and oversaw the construction of Niue’s Foou Hospital.
He has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Aupito William Sio says Young Vivian has been a great voice for Niue’s culture and language.
“I am also delighted to see Dr Apisalome Talemaitoga, who has been a resolute champion for the Pacific Community in the battle against COVID-19, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit,” Minister Sio says.
Dr Talemaitoga was instrumental in communicating the vaccine message to the Pacific community, and he now co-chairs the National COVID-19 Response Group.
“It’s also great Pacific humour is reflected on this list with comedian and founder of the Naked Samoans troupe David Fane being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit,” the Minister adds.
David is a familiar face on New Zealand’s screens starring in everything from Sione’s Wedding to Outrageous Fortune and Bro’ Town.
Another champion of the Pacific community is Nathan Fa’avae, who has also been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Nathan has pioneered women’s adventure racing and founded the Fa’avae Foundation which funds Pacific young people who want to experience outdoor education.
Minister Sio says those being honoured also reflect the fantastic diversity of areas Pacific peoples are making a strong contribution in.
“This includes business, community, language, culture and the arts, health, and of course the recipients reflect the diversity of our communities that are the face of the New Zealand’s future,” he says.
List of the Pacific New Year Honours recipients:
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Queen’s Service Medal
Honorary Queen’s Service Medal