8 Jun 2018
Pacific women are at the top of the list of Pacific recipients who have been recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.
New Zealand's first Pacific woman MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban was made a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and Pacific communities.
P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A Inc President Bernadette Pereira says Luamanuvao's recognition is a reflection of the legacy she and her family have left behind.
"She'd always been a Dame in our eyes because she pioneered many things... being able to represent the voice of women, being the first Pasifika woman to enter Parliament and look at how many we've got now."
"Her mother is one of the founding women of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A during the earlier migration that came here to New Zealand.
Black Fern Seiuli Fiao'o Fa'amausili has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby.
She's the most capped Black Fern with 52 caps behind her as well as four world titles.
Seiuli has captained the Black Ferns since 2012 and received numerous sports awards in her career over two decades.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush has paid tribute to Seuili's contribution to policing over the last eight years as well, as a Counties Manukau Detective Constable.
Seuili says it's wonderful to be acknowledged for serving the country.
"Just to be acknowledged from the Police, the job I've always wanted to do, I've always wanted to serve my country and also to be acknowledged from rugby. I've always wanted to represent New Zealand in the sport that we're known best in," she says.
"Mum always said, 'You keep giving and don't expect anything in return and you'll get acknowledged in other ways' and this is definitely one of those."
Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says this year's recipients have made a significant contribution to make a lasting difference in the Pacific community.
"I'm particularly proud that we have an amazing group of Pacific women in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours," he says.
"Congratulations to all the Pacific recipients who have been honoured for their contribution to sports, politics, education, business, religion and the arts and who continue to be role models and inspire the next generation."
The recipients are:
· The Honourable Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, QSO, for services to education and the Pacific community
· Ms Seiuli Fiao’o Faamausili, for services to rugby
· Ms Nina Catherine Nawalowalo, for services to theatre and Pacific culture
· Ms Caren Jane Rangi, for services to the Pacific community and governance
· Ms Jacqueline Emma Clarke, for services to the entertainment industry
· Mr Darryl Bill Suasua, for services to rugby
· Mr Saimoni Lealea, for services to Pacific communities
· Reverend Setaita Tokilupe Veikune, for services to the Pacific community
· Mr Tafafuna'i Fa'atasi Lauese, JP, for services to the Pacific community
· Reverend Perema Leasi, for services to the Pacific community
· Reverend Lucky Richard Slade, JP, for services to the Samoan community
Source: Radio 531pi