Queen acknowledges community leaders on Birthday Honours List

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Sir Stephen (Tipene) O’Regan                     Dame Silvia Cartwright

Staff Reporter
Auckland, June 6, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II has honoured New Zealanders for their achievements in various fields as a part of her Platinum Jubilee Honours List.

The Queen has appointed Sir Stephen (Tipene) Gerard O’Regan and Dame Silvia Cartwright as Additional Members of the Order of New Zealand.

Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Among those made Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit are Ruth Ellina Aitken (for services to Netball), Judge Carolyn Henwood (for services to the State, Youth and the Arts) and Dr Judith Helen McGregor (for services to Human Rights and Health).

Dr Patrick Wahanga Hohepa (for services to Maori Culture and Education), Heughan Bassett Rennie (for services to Governance, The Law, Business and the Community) and Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga (for services to Pacific and Public Health) have been appointed Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Among the Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit are Dr Alastair MacCormick (for services to Tertiary Education and the Community), Edward Colin Manson (for services to Philanthropy, Urban Development and Business), Benjamin Quentin Marshall (for services to Rugby League), John Anthony Monaghan (for services to the Dairy Industry), Lisa Marie Reihana (for services to the Arts), Dr Miriam Edna Saphira (for services to the LGBTQIA+Community), Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor (for services to Cricket and Pacific communities and Dr David Graeme Woodfield (for services to Transfusion Medicine).

Achievers from South Asian Communities

Four members of the South Asian communities have been recognised for their contributions to the New Zealand society in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Uddhav Prasad Adhikary

Uddhav Prasad Adhikary ONZM

Uddhav Prasad Adhikary of Nepali origin has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to the Nepalese community since 1996.

He was an Executive Committee Member between 1996 and 2000 of the Everest Kiwi Association, now New Zealand Nepal Society, the oldest Nepalese community organisation in New Zealand. Between 2000 and 2016, he held several positions with the New Zealand Nepalese Society including Joint Secretary, Secretary and President, during which he helped migrating Nepalese families to settle in New Zealand, provided tertiary education advice for Nepalese international students and helped organised annual cultural activities including Teej and Dashain.

He has been an Advisor with the Nepal Literary Society since 2016, helping promote Nepali literature in New Zealand and conducts regular Nepali language classes in Auckland.

He was the Vice President of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association New Zealand between 2019 and 2021 through which he led fundraising for vulnerable groups affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing thousands to students, and people in Nepal. He led a development programme working with Nepalese people who had lost their jobs during the pandemic, helping them find employment. He has been a Justice of the Peace since 2005 and is a Life Member of Paramhansa Yog Sewa.

He was elected President of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association New Zealand in 2021.

Ami Chand

Ami Chand QSM

Ami Chand will be awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to ethnic communities.

He was a founding member of the Waitakere Indian Association in 2000 and initially played a significant role in organising the annual Waitakere Deepawali Festival, which has grown into a significant cultural event for West Auckland.

Mr Chand has been Deputy Chair of the New Lynn Festival of Cultures Trust since 2000, which organises an annual festival for multiple ethnic groups. He is a member of Shakti Ramayan Mandali and has taught Indian culture and performed religious activities in the West Auckland area. He was elected to the Whau Local Board from 2013 to 2016 and held the portfolios for Ethnic Affairs, the Manukau Harbour Forum, and Watercare.

Mr Chand is a Trustee of the Kelston Community Trust and a past-Chairperson of the Kelston Community Hub, which administrates the ‘Proud to be Kelston’ community awards initiative. He has been an elected member of the Portage Licensing Trust for more than 17 years and is currently Deputy Chair. Mr Chand has been the Chair of the Community Organisation Grants Scheme Committee since 2020 and a Justice of the Peace for more than 20 years.

Dr Asoka Dias

Dr Asoka Dias QSM

Dr Talduwa Gamage Chandrasoma Asoka will receive a Queen’s Service Medal for services to Health and the Sri Lankan community.

He has contributed to community health, particularly focusing on mental, social and spiritual wellbeing for the Sri Lankan community, since he migrated to New Zealand in 1997.

Dr Dias led the fundraising initiative for the Sri Lanka Buddhist temple from 2004 until the successful establishment of the temple in 2014. He provided leadership towards establishing new premises for the Temple in 2008 and its ongoing maintenance.

For ten years, Dr Dias coordinated a monthly meditation programme at the Temple, which has helped reduce mental stress, fatigue and anxiety and provide health benefits within the community. He helped re-establish the New Zealand Overseas Doctors Association in 1999, which has seen more than 250 qualified doctors from 32 countries engage in work in New Zealand.

He has been a member of the United Sri Lanka Association in Auckland for more than 20 years, helping members with their physical and mental wellbeing through discussions, presentations and hands-on workshops.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, he led the planning for the urgent delivery of High Flow Oxygen machines to Sri Lanka. Dr Dias spearheaded a campaign to vaccinate as many people as possible in the Sri Lankan community, using the Sinhalese language to improve communication and reach for the message.

Pushpa Devi Prasad

Pushpa Devi Prasad QSM

Pushpa Prasad, who is being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), formed the Multicultural Indian Society in 1999 after noticing that young children were starting to lose their mother tongue, culture and traditions.

She aimed to organise cultural events to engage youth to participate and promote the use of their mother tongues. The society has branched out to several regions including Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Auckland.

She has helped the migrant community throughout the society, providing services such as English classes, career guidance, education, driving lessons and providing support to first-time mothers.

Ms Prasad has held several roles with the Whanganui branch including as Secretary, Vice- President and has been the current President since 2018.

She has coordinated several events including community BBQs, art competitions, technology support and organising Race Unit week events.

Ms Prasad was a Tutor with the YMCA between 1995 and 2014, mentoring youth and providing assistance with personal development. She is a member of the Festival of Cultures, which brings events to celebrate the diversity of Whanganui. She was a founding member of Satsang Ramayan Mandali Central and is the current Treasurer and Secretary. Ms Prasad has been the Secretary of the Multicultural New Zealand Women’s Wing since 2010.

Indian Newslink congratulates all the achievers and wishes them continued success in their pursuit of excellence.

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