31 Dec 2004

Pacific Islander says New Zealand honour a surprise

2:09 pm on 31 December 2004

One of the Pacific Islanders in New Zealand's honours list says being recognized for her community work was unexpected.

Esther Cowley-Malcolm has been appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Pacific Island families.

Ms Cowley Malcolm says as well as conducting groundbreaking research into Pacific families, she sits on various boards representing Pacific people.

"One of those I chair, the Pacific development and conservation trust, and the other I sit on is the medical laboratory board as a lay rep, and the other one is Im a rep for the Pacific communities ADHB for the Pacific health advisory committee."

Esther Cowley is also the president of PACIFICA's Auckland Central branch, which is part of a nationwide network for Pacific women.

Also appointed members of the New Zealand order of Merit award for community services was Togimanu Annandale, a police superintendent who has served in the Pacific region, including as a commander for RAMSI in the Solomon Islands and Christina Tapu, for her services to the community.

Couple Matakite and Elizabeth Malo were awarded the Queens Service Medal for raising money to buy medical supplies for the Cook Islands and Solomon Islands.

Also receiving a QSM award was Hanakalala Ahotaha, for her services in Niuean preschools in South Auckland and women's health, as well as Constable Annelise Vani Nygaard, who served as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.