Saturday, May 25, 2024

Pacific champion honoured in Queen’s Birthday list

Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga has been made a Knight in the Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List 2022.

Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said Niuen-born Dr Tukuitonga had been a champion of many health initiatives, from establishing a Cancer Control Strategy, managing New Zealand’s response to the SARs threat and consulting on the Painted Apple Moth programme in West Auckland.

“Over the past two years he has been a calm and steady voice for immunisation in the Pacific,” the Minister said.

Also receiving an honour this year is the operatic bass Jonathan Lemalu. Mr Lemalu is appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to opera.

“Jonathan has performed at the Met in New York and the Royal Opera House in London. Many of us will remember when he sang the national anthem at the 2011 World Rugby Cup,” said Mr Sio.

Mangere College Pacific language champion, Mrs Melegalenu’u Ah Sam has been appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

“Now deputy principal at Mangere she drove the Pacific languages teaching in South Auckland when she established the school’s languages L Block in 2012. This has become a hub for Māori and Pacific learning. Mrs Ah Sam has also been a stalwart supporter of all our Pacific students at the annual Polyfest festivals for many years.

“I wish all those Pasifika people who have been honoured the very best and I am delighted they remain champions for our communities,” said Hon Aupito William Sio.

List of Pacific recipients:


  • Dr Collin Fonotau Tukuitonga, for services to Pacific and public health


  • Mr Luteru Ross Poutoa Taylor, for services to cricket and Pacific communities


  • Mr Fa’afetai Jonathan Lemalu, for services to opera
  • Mrs Bridget Snedden, for services to people with learning disabilities


  • Mrs Melegalenu’u Ah Sam, for services to Pacific language education
  • Mr Les Lehi Tenise Atoni, for services to the Tokelau community
  • Mrs Sandra (Sandy) Borland, for services to nursing and the Pacific community
  • Mr Siaosi (George) Fa’alogo, for services to the New Zealand Police and the community
  • Mr Matthew Faafetai Malietoa (Mataio) Brown, for services to mental health and the prevention of family violence
  • Dr Linita Manu’atu, for services to Pacific education and the Tongan community
  • Ms Kiriovea Jasmin McSweeney, for services to the film industry
  • Mrs Tolupene (Neta) Peau, for services to the Tokelau community
  • Mr Bill Urale, for services to music and the community


  • Ms Gabrielle-Sisifo Makisi, for services to Pacific communities and education
  • Reverend Vaelua Salafai Mika, for services to church ministry and the Samoan community
  • Reverend Hiueni Nuku, for services to Tongan and Pacific communities
  • Mrs Vaipou Saluni, for services to education and the Pacific community
  • Mr Luther Alafia Toloa, QPM, JP, for services to the Pacific community

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