6 Auckland Justices of the Peace have been named in today’s announcement of recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2018.
Emeritus Professor Charmian O’Connor, CBE, JP, of Epsom, has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit recognising her international contributions to chemistry and education. Dame Charmian was instrumental in establishing the independent Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust which, through its academic dress hire business, is now one of the largest non-governmental funders of women’s higher education in New Zealand. As chair of the Trust’s Awards Committee since inception, she oversees the distribution of more than $600,000 across 110 grants and research awards annually for women undertaking tertiary education. Professor O’Connor has also served on advisory committee at the University of Auckland and has been on the governing bodies of both Manukau Institute of Technology Council and Unitec. She continues her involvement with chemistry organisations and conferences at national and international levels.
Miss Janette Tasker, JP, of Forrest Hill, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to the community and education. She has served the Methodist Church for many years, during which time she held senior governance positions. As Deputy Principal of Target Road Primary School from 1987 to 2011, Miss Tasker made a significant contribution to special needs education, overseeing growth of the department to two dedicated classrooms and was a driving force behind the purchase of a house, which was relocated to the school grounds as the ‘Sunshine House’ for the special needs department.
Mrs Virginia Chong, JP, of Epsom, has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for dedication for more than 30 years to the Chinese community in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland. Mrs Chong was appointed a Trustee of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust in 2014. She has taken the lead in organising many sporting, cultural, social and fundraising activities and has been active with, and served as an office-holder in, the New Zealand Chinese Association. She is currently a member of Women Leaders, a network of women leaders across the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has also had a successful career in local government as an elected member of the Eden/Albert Community Board and its predecessor. She helped oversee raising funds and restoring the 120-year old Mt Eden Methodist Church. She serves on the New Zealand China Council Advisory Board helping to progress the government’s NZ Inc Strategy for China.
Mr Tafafuna'i Fa'atasi Lauese, JP, of Mangere, has also been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Pacific community for more than 30 years. He is currently a member of the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board and has been a strong advocate for maintaining and protecting local parks, reserves and sports fields, and local arts and culture projects. He has been Chairman of the Pacific Peoples Advisory Council for Auckland Remand Prison since 2004. He is Treasurer and an Elder of the Mangere PIC Church. He also serves as an Executive Member on numerous local organisations he’s a volunteer with the Mangere Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and provides translation/interpreter services for the Samoan community.
Reverend Lucky Slade, JP, is a recipient of the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Samoan community. He has been a Church Minister in New Zealand for 33 years, during which time he has led the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Te Atatu. Reverend Slade is instrumental in working with the Ministry of Education to roll out early childhood education playgroups throughout throughout New Zealand. He is also involved as Reverend Elder for 11 other Samoan congregational churches in West Auckland. He has led a number of national remembrance services for the Samoan community, including the Museum Service commemorating 100 years of military service in 2015, and Samoan Tsunami Commemoration services along with service to local groups and Rutherford Primary School.
Mrs Elaine Utting of Greenhithe has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community and netball.
Mrs Utting has served as a Justice of the Peace since 2004. She was on the committee which organised the nation-wide Royal Federation Conference in Auckland in 2015 and is a long-time volunteer putting in many hours assisting with administration in the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association’s office. “It’s great to see Elaine has been recognised,” says Garry Nicholls, President of the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association, “finding time among her many other pursuits to help us in the office in numerous ways over a many years has been very much appreciated. It’s a well-deserved award”.
Elaine has been with Netball North Harbour for 63 years as a player, coach, umpire, Treasurer for 10 years, and President for four years. Mrs Utting was on the committee of the inaugural 2012 Golden Oldies Netball and was responsible for organising North Shore Primary School Netball Competitions in the early 1970s.
She has been involved with the New Zealand 60’s Up movement, having been Secretary and Entertainment Officer of the Takapuna branch for 13 years and Treasurer for the national organisation covering 34 branches She has been involved with Red Cross Meals on Wheels for 50 years as both a driver and roster coordinator. She has assisted with Hospice North Shore for 27 years. She is Treasurer of Greenhithe Residents’ Association and a Neighbourhood Support Street Coordinator. She is a member of the Auckland Schools Community Education Association and has run evening business classes for the community for more than five years.