Prominent NZers receive Queen's Awards

By Jessica Tyson

The achievements of prominent New Zealanders are being celebrated today at an investitures ceremony in Auckland.

Those being honoured include the late Archdeacon Tikiuterangi Raumati, Hughina May Mackey and Kiwi Ferns Rugby League player Laura Mariu.

Archdeacon Tikiuterangi Raumati

Archdeacon Tikiuterangi Raumati. Source: Māori TV

Raumati will be made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Māori and the community.

Raumati passed away in August this year, remembered as one of the great ministers and kaumātua of the Anglican Church and a patron to countless community initiatives.

Archbishop Philip Richardson says Raumati was a giant within Maoridom.

"His passionate commitment to gospel and people will be his unique legacy, and his challenge to us to form a future together by a genuine reconciling of our past is a work that we must continue," said Richardson.

"May he rest in peace and rise in glory."

Hughina May Mackey

Mackey receives a Queen's Service Medal. 

Mackey will receive a Queen's Service Medal for services to prisoners' support.

Mackey worked from 1948 to 1981 as matron of a number of hostels supporting and providing guidance to young Māori men and women coming to Auckland to seek employment or to learn trades.

In 1982 she became a prison visitor in the Department of Corrections kaiwhakamana kaumatua volunteer programme.

For over three decades she visited prisoners and provided them with aroha and prayer support.  She also helped the prisoners’ families on the outside by accompanying prisoners to tangi.

 At the age of 95 she made her final round at Paremoremo Prison.

“I believe the input I make in providing an ear for them, and not judging them, and encouraging them that there can be a better future, can make a difference,” she told the NZ Christian Network.

“They are special to me and this is why I had to do a little swansong and visit everyone for one last time.  My legs are getting tired!”

Laura Mariu

Laura Mariu. Source: NZRL

Mariu, 37, of Ngāti Tuwharetoa will be made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to rugby league.

New Zealand Rugby League describes Mariu as, "a role model to all young women aspiring to reach the pinnacle of our game."

The Kiwi Ferns captain has played in all five women’s rugby league world cups and has dedicated 17 years of her life to the sport.

Despite announcing her retirement from world cup rugby league, Mariu couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play in this month's triple-header.

“After the world cup I thought I’d hang up the boots on my Kiwi Ferns career but I just can’t stay away," she told the NZRL.

“While my body still allows me I’m keen to play in that Kiwi Ferns jersey if they’ll have me.”

For most of her working life, Mariu found employment which suited her rugby league career.  But after the 2017 world cup she began training at the police academy.

Laura graduated in early May and is now serving in the Counties-Manukau district.