Let’s honour our local heroes

The New Year’s Honours and Queen’s Birthday Honours lists recognise those New Zealanders who contribute to our communities.  They come from all walks of life and the contributions they make are as diverse and eclectic as the recipients.

Common elements, however, are that very few of these people do what they do for the recognition of appearing on one of these lists.

Nevertheless, I believe the lists are important. These people (most of them)  deserve to be recognised and the honours lists give us the opportunity to do so. I think we lost a big part of the opportunity when in 2003 the Helen Clarke government dispensed with knights and dames. I admit I was happy to see them restored by National in 2009.

Of course, not everybody is offered the opportunity of a knighthood, or to become a dame or any of the other honours. Even among those who are — Helen Clarke among them perhaps — some choose not to accept them.

But it remains a guilty pleasure for us to twice a year scan those lists and recognise someone we know or are even related to.

So, it was with slight disquiet that I scanned the 2019 New Year’s Honours list and found no recipient listed as living in Kaipara. Some might of course be from the district but there doesn’t seem to be any current residents.

Why is that, I wondered.

Surely, we have many, many good people working in (and for) our Kaipara community who deserve these, the nation’s, highest accolades.

I know for a fact we have, I have met many of them.

So, are we reticent in coming forward to support and nominate them?

We shouldn’t be.

I would like to see us get right behind our local heroes.

That is what I intend to do in 2019. I am going to be constantly on the lookout for people I believe should be submitted for an honour (they are not hard to find) in the hope of giving them and Kaipara the recognition they deserve.

If you think the same, nomination guidelines and forms are on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website or by contacting the Honours Unit Level 10 Executive Wing Parliament Buildings Wellington 6011.


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