Margaret Anne Hopkins
Services to conservation and the community
AFTER almost 50 years of involvement in conservation and local government on Stewart Island, Margaret Hopkins says she has been busy.
While honoured to have become a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, she said it was a little embarrassing.
‘‘It goes against the grain to single people out.’’
However, she acknowledged she had been involved in many projects and groups over the
Chairwoman of Rakiura Heritage Centre Trust, Mrs Hopkins played a key role in the concept, planning and building the recently opened $3.8 million centre.
This, along with her involvement in the establishment of the Rakiura National Park, was a highlight for her.
Her other environmentally focused roles included helping to establish the Ulva Island Marine Reserve and Paterson Inlet Mataitai, as well as being a member and chairwoman of the Stewart Island Rakiura Community Environment Trust.
She was an active member of the Stewart Island Promotion Association and a member of the Stewart Island Community Centre Trust for 20 years, during the building and planning of the Community Centre.
Mrs Hopkins had been involved with Leadership Academy, established to develop the leadership potential of Stewart Island residents.
She was member of the Southland Conservation Board from 1990 to 1999 and was appointed to the New Zealand Conservation Authority from 1999 to 2002.
Mrs Hopkins was also a member of Stewart Island County Council from 1978 to 1990 and chairwoman of the Stewart Island Community Board in the 1990s.
Tracey Lee Wright-Tawha
Services to health and Maori
TRACEY Wright-Tawha has always been interested in making a positive
contribution to her own community and creating positive health gains for kaupapa Maori.
Ms Wright-Tawha is the founder and chief executive of Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust (NKMPCT), which began in 2000 as an organisation focused on providing access to primary healthcare for people in western Southland.
She was a community development worker from 1985 to 1995 and worked for several years with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu before establishing NKMPCT as a kaupapa Maori
health and social service.
Since 2000 she has built NKMPCT into a quality kaupapa Maori whanau ora centred health and social service, employing 76 staff with an annual turnover of $6.5 million.
She said she was continuing the work created by the footsteps that had come before her.
Her motivation came from her parents who wanted their children to do well and offer something back to their community, she said.
‘‘I think when we think about awards, they acknowledge everyone who’s been a part of your journey over the years.’’
NKMPCT delivers a range of services including addiction counselling, gambling harm counselling, disability support and advocacy, restorative justice, Whanau Ora, community
nursing services, cancer pathway support, and He Puna Waiora Wellness Centre general practice.
Ms Wright-Tawha has also served on a variety of boards, research groups and advisory groups.
Yvonne Mavis Officer
Services to Victim Support
FOR the past 25 years, an Invercargill volunteer has been on call night and day to support
victims in the most delicate moments of their lives.
Dedicating her life to supporting others, Yvonne Mavis Officer was completely surprised when informed she was one of this year’s recipients of the Queen’s Service Order Medal.
The Otatara woman was honoured for her outstanding work with Victim Support.
Mrs Officer said she usually helped other people to get awards and never imagined she would be the one to be honoured.
‘‘I’m feeling very humble about it.
‘‘It makes me really wonder if I should have this honour. A lot of people do a lot of work like me. Maybe [I got] it because I’ve been doing victim support for 25 years.’’
Mrs Officer has provided help to more than 1000 victims and families in more than 550 support assignments during her years of volunteering.
She has spent many hours attending training days to better support victims of suicide and assault and has supported victims in court during the legal processes.
‘‘This work is very important because we meet people at their most vulnerable times of their lives.
‘‘It is big privilege to be involved in their lives and help them.’’
Mrs Officer was also acknowledged for her volunteer support work in a range of organisations including St John, at the emergency department and the children’s ward at Southland Hospital in Invercargill.
She also delivers Meals on Wheels and fundraises for various other charities, particularly Blind Low Vision NZ, during collection days.