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Wednesday January 31, 2018

Local identities receive New Year Honour Several locals have been recognised with the New Year Honours 2018 for their commitment to the community. The Independent Herald introduced Lloyd Scott, MNZM, and Penny Mudford, ONZM, in the January 17 issue. This week, reporter Julia Czerwonatis spoke to another five out of eight local recipients about their honouring.

Mr Channa Ranasinghe, QSM, of Churton Park Mr Channa Ranasinghe dedicates much of his time and work voluntarily to help others here and overseas. The Churton Park resident, who emigrated from Sri Lanka over 20 years ago, received a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to the Sri Lankan community. Under Channa’s leadership, the United Sri Lanka Association

raised more than $250,000 for relief efforts following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka. “What I did in the Sri Lanka Association helped me to be a better member of my community and to be better at my job,” Channa says. “So to show our gratitude towards New Zealand, we started another fundraiser after the earthquake in Christchurch to help people there.”

He says working for the community and helping others was a very satisfying feeling. He appreciates that Wellington, and Churton Park especially, are home to people from various cultures and ethnical origin. “It’s important to organise cultural events and mediate between ethnic communities because they sometimes live in their pockets.

We want to create something for them to feel comfortable to get out and be part of the wider community,” Channa says. In the future, Channa would like to inspire younger generations to be engaged in similar projects as he was to make a difference for their communities. PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis

The Honourable Sir Douglas White, KNZM QC, of Thorndon In May, the Honourable Douglas White, QC, will become Sir Douglas in recognition services to the judiciary. Douglas says he was “flattered” when being informed about his knighthood. “It came out of the blue for me. My family was very excited,” the Thorndon resident says. After having practised as a

Queen’s Counsel from 1988, Douglas was appointed a High Court judge in 2009. Douglas says highlights of his career are his current position as the president of the Law Commission as well as working as a judge for the Court of Appeal in Auckland. “Working for the Court of Appeal was very stimulating. It

was challenging and extremely interesting at the same time, and I had wonderful colleagues,” Douglas says. The father of four wanted to be a judge ever since he “decided not to be a train driver”. He says skills required to be a good judged include being impartial, involved in your cases and being dispassionate.

“You have to be a good listener and make sure that both sides had a fair hearing.” Douglas’s position is secured until 2021, and he is considering a move to Auckland because part of his family lives there.

they can learn from.” After starting his career in England, David was offered the chance to work in New Zealand in 1989. Initially, David only wanted to stay for a short time but he met his wife here, and job opportunities kept coming for him. “My position at the MBIE has been an incredible chance to make a difference to New Zealand.

“I’ve worked together with great people, and together we achieved a whole lot of important and challenging aspects. “The New Year Honour is a tribute to everyone in the ministry and what we have collectively achieved.”

it harder for younger people to reach their potential. “Leadership is about who you are in your everyday life in ordinary situations: in school, at work, amongst your family. It’s about showing competence and confidence and aspiring in their surroundings. “The wider vision behind it is to mentor an entire generation of community leaders who assume responsibility for their lives, their

children and their futures and not have others decide about their future.” Kabini says after the New Year Honour announcement, he received many messages from young people he had taught and others around the Pacific. “This has meant a lot to them. This goes beyond me,” Kabini says.

PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis

Mr David Smol, QSO, of Kelburn Mr David Smol has dedicated much of his working life in New Zealand to make a difference to the country and has now become a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for his services. The Kelburn resident was the founding chief executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) from 2012 until last year.

He says one of their key targets was to making all MBIE services as accessible as possible for people which meant improving online services. New Zealand is “doing pretty well’ keeping up digitalisation, he says, but there are still areas where we would need improvement. “The beauty is that we can learn from other countries in this just as

PHOTO: Julia Czerwonatis

Professor Kabini Sanga, MNZM, of Newlands He has been an inspiration for many students, and for his education services to young people from the Pacific region and beyond, Professor Kabini Sanga has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Newlands resident is a professor at Victoria University and has moved here from the Solomon Islands. Next to his regular classes, Kabini is organising a leadership

programme. He says the idea was born back in 2001 and took off four years later, with Kabini as its driving force. “It’s a deliberate mentoring programme. We have a look at individual experiences and use those as a starting point for development. It’s people-centred,” Kabini explains. He says much of the schooling system diminishes people and makes them smaller which makes

PHOTO: Supplied

The Venerable Wiremu (Bill) Tutepuaki Kaua, ONZM JP, of Churton Park The Venerable Wiremu (Bill) Tutepuaki Kaua, JP, has been a public servant his entire career across a variety of sectors, an enduring advocate of Maori cultural education and, more recently, a committed minister of the Anglican Church. In recognition of his dedication to his community, Bill has been named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. “It was quite a shock, I never really expected this.”

The Churton Park resident says that his work over the years was aimed to build bridges between people. As the inaugural Group Manager Maori at the Ministry of Education, he led various initiatives to immerse staff in Maori culture. He took on roles in several ministries including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet before moving to the private sector to be “closer to the action”. “A large project I was involved

in was forming a runanga with 25 tribes in Wellington,” Bill says. “We aimed to create a body of knowledge and connect urban Maori to their tribal roots.” He has since been a cultural advisor to numerous organisations, and notably involved with Waitangi Tribunal hearings as a kaumatua for the lawyers of the Crown Law Office, and as kaumatua for PHARMAC since 2010, a role that he is proud of. “My job is to make sure, Maori

are safe and being treated with respect, and to ensure we’re looking after our people,” Bill says. He hopes that one day, people “put their stupidity behind” and will go beyond the ethnic boundaries to become Kiwis together. “What is good for Maori, is good for everyone, so why not do things together. We need to work together – even more so nowadays.” PHOTO: Supplied

Independent Herald 31-01-18  

Independent Herald 31-01-18

Independent Herald 31-01-18  

Independent Herald 31-01-18