Public Service Day Honours
He Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui
New Zealand Public Service Medal
The New Zealand Public Service Medal is awarded to public servants who have given meritorious service.
Medal recipients are people who:
• have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to New Zealand and New Zealanders
• are exemplary, or a model for other Public Service employees
• bring significant benefit to New Zealand or the Public Service
• are exceptional and otherwise worthy of recognition.
Five medals were awarded for the first time in November 2018. Read more
The New Zealand Public Service Medal was established by Royal Warrant in 2018 and is part of the New Zealand Royal Honours system.
He Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho
State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence
The State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence is awarded for outstanding spirit of service shown by a public servant.
Commendation recipients are people who:
• demonstrate exceptional care and commitment to New Zealanders, and a ‘higher purpose' motivation
• demonstrate the highest standard of integrity, kaitiakitanga, and the right attitude
• generate pride in the Public Sector.
Nine commendations were awarded for the first time in November 2018. Read more
Congratulations to New Zealand's first recipients of the Public Service Medal and State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence. Fourteen public servants received the awards on November 5, at a special ceremony in Wellington.
Miriama Evans and Scott Theobald were awarded posthumously.
Mrs Isabel Evans
Director of Education
Ministry of Education
Isabel is a career public servant who has worked tirelessly in the roles she has held throughout her service. She has operated at the ‘sharp end,’ providing exceptional services for Work and Income clients in the Auckland region for many years - and particularly to those most in need.
A top performer and notable for her ability to deliver outcomes, Isabel’s contribution to the public sector is her track record regardless of role. She provides clear leadership to those she works with and has a reputation for being 'firm but fair'. The calm and efficient manner in which Isabel meets these challenges head on and her ability to listen and problem solve is an asset to the public service.
Isabel is one of a few senior Pacific public sector leaders. Her achievements and leadership provide inspiration for others. She has generously given of her time and experience to mentor many across the public sector and she is responsible for a large number of talented and emerging leaders.
Isabel’s leadership, drive and selflessness in all her work makes her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Mr Kyle Kuiti
Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice Residence Manager
Kyle’s dedication and unrelenting focus on some of our most vulnerable community members exemplifies the spirit of service we have to our own communities.
Kyle entered public service as a part time residential youth worker where he began demonstrating his absolute commitment to helping troubled tamariki turn their lives around. His focus and connection to his mahi has given him insight to the potential in what is considered by many to be a lost group of young people.
Kyle’s energy is boundless and infectious. He is constantly innovating and seeking to improve the service the residence delivers. His impact goes beyond Te Au rere a te Tonga, and lays a strong foundation to achieve Oranga Tamariki’s wider goal of youth offenders not reoffending.
Kyle’s absolute focus on improving the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people makes him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Ms Matalena Leaupepe
Director, Government Centre, Dispute Resolution
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Matalena's commitment to making a difference for New Zealand's Pacific communities exhibits the spirit of service and shows her impact far beyond her role.
Matalena's absolute focus on seeing Pacific people realise their potential led her to develop the Tupu Tai programme - an internship programme for Pacific people. This programme is set to increase the flow of Pacific people into public sector policy roles. Through her commitment to seeing this programme and its participants succeed, many interns have found the confidence to continue a career of public service and see the impact they can make in the wider system.
The strategic approach Matalena brings to her work combined with her ability to partner right across government, as well as the private and NGO sectors, has improved the future careers of many, many Pacific public servants and is helping to shape the public sector workforce of the future.
Matalena’s passion for supporting young public servants and her drive to help them succeed make her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Mr Brodie Stubbs
Manager, Memorials and Taonga
Ministry of Culture and Heritage
Brodie’s care and commitment as kaitiaki of our national heritage and taonga embodies the spirit of service and upholds Manatū Taonga’s mission to promote a confident and connected culture.
Throughout his Public Service career, Brodie’s focus has been on providing New Zealanders with opportunities to connect to their history through preserving taonga, maintaining and creating memorials and producing engaging commemorative ceremonies.
The time, effort, expertise and commitment that Brodie has dedicated to his work in the public sector has had an enduring impact on this country and the communities we serve.
Brodie’s passion, care and commitment to preserving and celebrating New Zealand’s vast cultural history and taonga make him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Ms Miriama Evans
Ngāti Mutungā, Ngāi Tahu
Miriama’s contribution to New Zealand encompasses academia, community, public service and a contribution to her iwi. Sadly, Miriama passed away on 15 August 2018.
Miriama earned the title 'Wahine Toa' through a lifetime battling for the interests of Māori and especially Māori women. Through her quiet leadership she was considered integral to any government decisions of the day relating to Māori affairs.
Over her career, Miriama worked tirelessly for Prime Ministers Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark and John Key. When she retired from public service, it was commented that when Cabinet was dealing with any Māori affairs matter requiring a decision, the last question Ministers asked was always, "Does Miriama agree?". Miriama was able to skilfully and constructively connect the Māori and Crown dimensions of policy development and support them through to implementation.
Miriama’s lifetime dedication to furthering the Crown/Māori relationship and her focus on improving the lives of Māori women make her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho
State Services Commissioner’s Commendation for Frontline Excellence
Mr Heath Cairns
Harbourmaster Lake Taupō
Department of Internal Affairs
Heath demonstrates his spirit of service and commitment to New Zealanders by ensuring we can all safely enjoy one of New Zealand’s most precious natural taonga, Lake Taupō.
Heath uses his role as Taupō Harbourmaster to ensure that the public service is a robust partner with Māori and the community. He works alongside Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the hapū in the lake area, and community stakeholders to protect Lake Taupō and ensure access and safety for users. He is also a passionate advocate of health and safety, and works tirelessly to keep boat ramps, navigational buoys, moorings, and marinas maintained in excellent condition.
Heath is committed to collaboration above and beyond his role, working across organisational boundaries to protect the lives of New Zealanders. This year alone, he has assisted the Police and the Coastguard, and rescued a swimmer and several vessels in distress.
Heath is a stand out public servant who exemplifies the spirit of service in all that he does. As such, he is a truly deserving recipient of this commendation.
Ms Heather Doughty
Senior Landonline Application Specialist
Land Information New Zealand
Heather has devoted 42 years to Land Information New Zealand. She stands out as a public servant who has been instrumental in supporting the on-going development and integrity of the world-leading Landonline property record system. As a recognised Landonline specialist, she is now involved in work to improve and update the system.
Heather treats everyone with both sensitivity and respect and relates easily with colleagues and customers alike. She works collaboratively to fully understand how challenges or proposed changes will affect customers. This helps Land Information New Zealand to design better solutions that provide more value to New Zealanders.
Heather's career-long spirit of service and ongoing dedication as a public servant makes her a deserving recipient of this commendation.
Mr Noel Harris
Mapping Officer, Waitangi Tribunal Unit
Ministry of Justice
There are few who can say they have held the same role, and been the only one in that role, for 28 years. But Noel can. His willingness and technical abilities as a mapping officer make him a hugely valuable team member.
Noel provides mapping advice to inform Waitangi Tribunal reports, contributing to a richer and deeper respect for our country's history. He does so in a way that shows attentive care and commitment to the work he is undertaking.
Noel's life-long dedication to his work, his respect for the complex relationships and histories within the land he maps, and the way he makes them clear and easily understood for every New Zealander is what makes him worthy of this commendation.
Ms Ailsa Parker
Ministry for the Environment
Ailsa exemplifies the spirit of service and what it means to be a public servant. She is a kaitiaki of New Zealand's environmental history, a role that Ailsa undertakes with great pride and passion.
Ailsa is a quiet achiever. She works tirelessly to provide exemplary service and support to all New Zealanders who want to know more about our natural environment. The combination of her deep knowledge and her ability to reach out to her networks enables Ailsa to bring our nation's rich environmental story to life. She receives consistently positive feedback, and those who deal with her are highly complimentary of the passion and creativity she brings to her role.
Ailsa demonstrated her commitment to improving the Ministry's information management by self-funding her attendance at the 84th World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, where she represented the Ministry for the Environment and presented a paper on identifying and preserving environmental research.
Ailsa's deep understanding of New Zealand's environmental history and her commitment to sharing that knowledge with others makes her a worthy recipient of this commendation.
Ms Dale Parkes
Customer Services Officer
Dale has been referred to as a ‘fixer' and a ‘social entrepreneur'. What makes her stand out is her genuine empathy for people and a commitment to putting things right.
It is said that there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. And it would be fair to say that few eagerly anticipate either of these. However, those lucky enough to reach Dale on the phone, or work with her in the Inland Revenue customer contact centre, are treated to a genuinely engaging experience.
Dale always treats people with respect and dignity. She shows compassion when talking with people feeling stressed or emotional, listening to their needs and always doing her best to respond. She is a stellar example to her colleagues and also supports them in her role as a union delegate.
For her commitment to making things right, and putting her clients at the heart of everything she does, Dale is a worthy recipient of this commendation.
Ms Patricia Prchal
Care and Protection Coordinator
At 79, Patricia is one of Oranga Tamariki's most experienced social workers. She embodies the spirit of service, has spent more than four decades on the frontline and is personally committed to improving the lives of young New Zealanders.
Patricia's relentless positivity and passion for improving the lives of at risk children and youth has seen her faced with some of life's toughest challenges. If anyone has seen it all, Patricia has. Her ability to recall details and personal connections is extraordinary. She continues to inspire all those whose lives she touches.
Patricia's deep understanding and commitment to the community she serves makes her a deserving recipient of this commendation.
Mrs Maria Reynen Clayton
Development Manager, Tokelau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Maria epitomises the spirit of service through her unfailing commitment to New Zealand's Pacific neighbours. By contributing to improving vital services such as health and education in Pacific countries for over a decade, Maria has demonstrated her compassion and commitment to community every day.
Maria took up the role of Development Manager for Tokelau in February 2015. She has used this role to help shape how New Zealand supports Tokelau and to improve its core public service delivery. Maria is currently focused on strengthening the quality of governance and financial management; improving education and health services; monitoring the upgrades of transport infrastructure; planning to enhance coastal resilience, and encouraging Tokelauan women to contribute more actively to public life. She understands the value of face-to-face contact, and has made numerous long boat trips to the atolls to listen to and collaborate with representatives of the villages of Tokelau's three atolls and Tokelau public servants.
Maria has earned the trust and respect of her colleagues and Tokelauan contacts through her steady and supportive presence, her encouragement, and her ability to have a meaningful, positive impact in the Pacific. For these reasons, she is a worthy recipient of this commendation.
Mr Brian Roughan
Specialist Advisor Seafood
Ministry for Primary Industries
Brian's spirit of service has shone through a career spanning more than 30 years. Charged with supporting our seafood industry to produce safe food, Brian's passion and commitment helped build New Zealand's shellfish sanitation programme to the internationally recognised, world-leading standard it is today. Brian's expertise was recognised internationally when he chaired a joint Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation core group of experts on bivalve molluscan shellfish sanitation programmes.
A mentor to many others in the field, Brian shares his wealth of experience and knowledge with all. He gives freely of his time and expertise to others to help them learn and grow, ensuring a safe future in this field.
Brian is hugely respected within MPI and the seafood sector and this, combined with the kaitiakitanga he has shown for protecting public health, has earned him this commendation.
Mr Scott Theobald
Ranger – Biodiversity
Department of Conservation
Scott epitomised what is meant by the Spirit of Service. Dedicated to protecting our precious environment from pest predators, Scott saw a need and created a solution that is now internationally recognised and sought after. Scott was driven by his passion for his work.
Though many doubted it was even possible, Scott persevered to successfully train New Zealand's very first 'Predator Dog'. He endured tough and remote environments, that often took him away from home for long periods of time.
Tragically, Scott lost his life in the course of his duties in a helicopter crash on Thursday 18 October 2018.
It was his passion, innovation and commitment to protect our environment that earned Scott this commendation. It is with sadness that this Commendation is awarded posthumously.
Photo credit: Karen Vincent