31 Dec 2007

Pacific people in the arts, health and community services get NY honours

11:15 am on 31 December 2007

The producer of the New Zealand programme which covers news and events concerning Pacific people has been awarded the Order of Merit in the New Year Honours.

Stephen Stehlin has worked on TVNZ's Tagata Pasifika since the programme began in 1987.

Mr Stehlin says he was overwhelmed when he heard the news.

"A complete shock, I couldn't believe it when I first got notification that some kind soul said, kindly nominated me. I thought I was simply doing my job but it appears other people think I've gone a little bit more so I'm very flattered and I'm very honoured."

Mr Stehlin was awarded the medal for his services to Pacific Island television broadcasting and the arts.

Seven other people have also been recognised in the New Year Honours for their work with Pacific communities.

The Reverend Epeli Taungapeau and Guinevere Newport have been awarded Orders of Merit for services to the Tongan Community and services to the Pacific Islands community respectively.

Pauline Winter has been awarded the Queen's Service Order for services to business and the Pacific Islands community.

Viola Taule'ale'ausumai, Ioane Teao and Zilina Vero were awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to health and the Pacific Islands community, and services to the Tokelauan and Cook Island communities respectively.