Thirty-five New Zealanders last night received Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui o Aotearoa | The New Zealand Public Service Medal for outstanding public service at a ceremony at Government House.
Her Excellency, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, hosted the ceremony, attended by the medal recipients, Deputy Prime Minister, Grant Robertson; Minister for the Public Service, Chris Hipkins and the Public Service Commissioner, Peter Hughes.
“Public Service Day (November 7) is an opportunity to reflect on the year and recognise the outstanding work of public servants,” said the Commissioner.
“Public servants come to work each day to make a difference for their communities. They serve with a spirit of service and a genuine desire to make New Zealand a better place for future generations to come.
“This year we recognised people who were vital to the COVID-19 response. People who protected the border and people who worked tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of communities was at the forefront of the response. People who saved lives,” Mr Hughes said.
He said the medal winners demonstrated the spirit of service in action.
“They were at the heart of the response to the pandemic and this is something to be commended,” the Commissioner said.
The medals are awarded each year on Public Service Day, November 7.
The 35 medal recipients and citation details are as follows:
- Cheryl Barnes, Special Advisor and Former Deputy Chief Executive, COVID-19 Group Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
Cheryl has made a significant positive difference for all New Zealanders through her generosity of spirit and her commitment to wellbeing. From the beginning of the response to COVID-19, Cheryl has played a key role in leading the all-of-government response effort Through times of uncertainty and change, she has led the DPMC COVID-19 Group with a personable and collaborative approach. For her, no issue is too big to solve. Cheryl always goes above and beyond to provide high quality advice to Ministers and chief executives alike. Her work has enhanced the lives of many and improved the government’s readiness for future responses. Cheryl is truly a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Terry Brown, Group Manager, Intelligence Investigations and Enforcement, Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa | New Zealand Customs Service;
Terry is dedicated to the safety of all New Zealanders. His tireless commitment to lead and support the design and implementation of air border systems allowed our country to reopen safely while protecting us from COVID-19. Terry places people at the heart of his work by providing the best outcomes for border officers, our communities, and reconnecting people with the rest of the world. Customs workers say that Terry’s drive was a key factor in the success of the Reconnecting New Zealanders project and that he is viewed as a role model by many within the organisation. His unwavering desire to help others makes him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Chris Bunny, Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment;
Chris is a trusted leader who exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. He is dedicated to the bigger picture, and he uplifts those around him. In recent times, he oversaw work that ensured supply chains and supermarkets were able to function during COVID-19. He later stepped in to lead Managed Isolation and Quarantine through its final stages. This has had an undeniable impact on the lives of many. Throughout his work, Chris champions Māori capability development and the importance of Inclusion and Diversity. He lives the ethos of the Public Service and is deeply committed to using his in-depth knowledge and people-centric views to encourage and empower his team. He is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- John Cavanagh, Director, Regional COVID-19 Response Group, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development;
John’s spirit of service is demonstrated not only through the outstanding work he delivers, but also through his tremendous character. John’s colleagues say that the phrase ‘Urupare ki nga hiahia hapori’ sums him up – he is responsive to community needs. His experience in managing unprecedented events came to the fore through COVID-19, when he was the Ministry’s go-to person in an emergency. During this time, John initiated a collaboration with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which developed into the team that supports Afghani refugees as they settle in New Zealand. His resilience in managing tough mahi and his dedication to those who are most vulnerable make him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Bryan Chapple, Formerly Deputy Secretary, Growth and Macroeconomics, Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury;
Bryan is a public servant who is driven by a spirit of service. With a career of devoted service to the public, both in New Zealand and overseas, his desire is to see others thrive. During the COVID-19 response, Bryan led the Government’s economic response, including Treasury’s economic advice, and the design and delivery of the wage subsidy scheme. This scheme played an extraordinary role in the economic outcomes for individuals, whānau and New Zealand. Throughout times of intense urgency and unpredictability, Bryan remained honest, authentic, and grounded. He continued to provide pragmatic advice, supporting people up, down, across and beyond agency hierarchies. Bryan is highly regarded by people across the Public Service and is a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Carl Crafar, Chief Operating Officer, Operations & Service Delivery, Te Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice;
Carl is a true public servant who has dedicated his career of more than 35 years to improving the lives of New Zealanders. From frontline to senior leadership roles, his spirit of service to the community has been the driving force. Last year, Carl stepped up to lead the whole-of-government COVID-19 response in implementing the summer readiness programme. His work has made a key contribution to New Zealand’s response to the pandemic and has touched the lives of millions. His colleagues describe him as going above and beyond to deliver results, with a strong sense of determination and integrity. Carl’s outstanding service to the community makes him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Serena Curtis, General Manager, Pacific and Community Capability Programmes, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development;
Serena is a genuine leader and inspiring community advocate. Through COVID-19 she mobilised a welfare response that was truly community-led and fit for the needs of vulnerable New Zealanders. Her colleagues say that her vision of self-determining communities led to significant changes in how the Ministry of Social Development engages with community partners. These changes led to more whānau accessing support services to support their wellbeing and resilience. Serena led community engagement under the most difficult of circumstances and through numerous lock downs, advocating for those whose voices are the hardest to hear. She is someone who cares, and she demonstrates that day in, day out. Serena’s outstanding spirit of service makes her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Annique Davis, Director, Marketing, Communications and Engagement, Tatauranga Aotearoa | Stats NZ, Formerly Director, Communications, Media and Marketing, Ministry for Pacific Peoples;
Annique exemplifies the spirit of service as an advocate and champion of Pacific communities. With a people-centric approach, she has an innate ability to bring government and Pacific communities together. Throughout COVID-19, Annique went above and beyond to ensure all communications were accessible for the diverse Pacific communities around New Zealand. Her Pacific values are embedded in the way she led and contributed to the Ministry’s successful pandemic response. This built a trusted source of health information that made a difference to the lives of many. Building this trust was both critical and challenging, and it speaks to Annique’s integrity, dedication, and compassion. Her outstanding commitment to the community makes her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Michael Dreyer, General Manager National Digital Services & Chief Technology Officer, Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand;
Michael’s leadership and commitment to wellbeing is the embodiment of the spirit of service. During the response to COVID-19, his leadership enabled critical health and disability services to continue. Michael led the development of the new digital systems that allowed New Zealand to respond effectively to the pandemic. Colleagues say the impact that Michael has had on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders cannot be overstated. He never loses sight of his people and is highly invested in their wellbeing, constantly stepping up in moments of need. Michael’s outstanding dedication to the people of New Zealand makes him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Kelly Dunn, Tūmuaki Tuarua Deputy Chief Executive, Partnerships, Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations;
Kelly is a selfless and courageous leader, committed to protecting our most vulnerable. From the onset of COVID-19, Kelly formed strong networks across Government and put processes in place to ensure Māori communities received funding, social services, food, and medical care. She wove the voices of Māori into the design of key initiatives and stayed connected to them through every decision. Kelly is driven by a genuine sense of care, kindness, and humility. Even when balancing huge commitments, she prioritises the wellbeing of her team and goes above and beyond to uplift those she serves. Kelly is a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Mārama Edwards, Deputy Chief Executive, Māori, Communities & Partnerships, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development;
Mārama is an inspiring wāhine toa devoted to improving the lives of New Zealanders. Throughout each wave of COVID-19, she and her team were tireless in delivering support for the community, going the extra mile to reach all corners of New Zealand. She did all this on top of leading the Ministry’s work with iwi leaders and continuing with business as usual. Mārama really ‘gets’ the spirit of service and lives it. Her relentless positivity and unwavering focus on helping people make her a true exemplar of public service. Her colleagues say she is at her best in a crisis and that her genius lies in uniting people from all walks of life. Mārama’s absolute commitment and outstanding leadership make her a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Ruth Fairhall, Advisor, Policy Advisory Group, Former Deputy Chief Executive, COVID-19 Response Group, Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
Ruth models the highest standards of the Public Service and has made a significant positive impact to the lives of New Zealanders. As a leader of the COVID-19 Response Group, she oversaw many Cabinet papers, briefings, strategic frameworks, and more. Through a period of complex challenges and time pressures, Ruth’s ability to connect with people right across the public sector ensured her policy advice remained robust and nuanced. This collaborative approach, underpinned by her strong desire to provide the best possible service, enabled her to manage a multitude of often competing cross-agency demands. Everything she does is done with care, humility, and an innate spirit of service and Ruth is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Tuaopepe Abba Fidow, Deputy Secretary for Regional Partnerships and Service Delivery, Te Manatū mō ngā Iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa | Ministry for Pacific Peoples;
Tuaopepe truly lives the Samoan proverb ‘O le ala o le pule o le Tautua’, ‘The path to leadership is through service’. As Deputy Secretary for Regional Partnerships, he was actively involved in the response to COVID-19, using his and his teams connections with Pacific community leaders, clinicians, and providers to provide wrap-around information and support to Pacific communities in need. With his leadership, his teams stayed engaged with Pacific communities across Aotearoa, ensuring the government heard their voices and addressed their needs. He is described as someone who leads with compassion, confidence, and humility. Tuaopepe never loses sight of his own people and maintains alofa and fealofani in his practice. He is a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Sue Gordon, Interim Lead Corporate Services, Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand;
Sue is driven by a vision of connected and empowered communities. She has been critical to the success of the Ministry of Health COVID-19 response, leading work that has been vital to the safety of New Zealanders. This has included contract tracing, procurement of supplies, testing and vaccination, often working seven days a week to ensure the response was successful. Sue has always stepped up to take on challenging work, even acting as chief executive of the Ministry of Health during the initial stages of the COVID-19 response. She kept her community safe and served New Zealanders with humility, dedication, and outstanding resilience. Sue’s extraordinary service makes her a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Jessica Gorman, Senior Crown Counsel, Te Tari Tune o te Karauna | Crown Law Office, Formerly Principal Solicitor, COVID-19 Response Group, DPMC;
Jessica is driven by a spirit of service to create better outcomes for New Zealanders. On secondment from the Crown Law Office to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in the COVID-19 Response Group, she played a pivotal role in providing legal advice across complex and challenging policy settings. Jess has a wealth of experience in public law coupled with an unwavering dedication to her mahi. Jess’s methodical, determined approach, and ability to overcome any hurdle that comes her way are some of her most valued strengths. She worked tirelessly through the response to COVID-19 to ensure New Zealanders were kept safe and healthy, making Jess a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Andy Hagan, Formerly Acting Deputy Secretary Financial and Commercial, Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury;
Andy epitomises humility and the importance of working together for the greater good. As Deputy Secretary he oversaw the establishment of the Firm Support directorate, providing time critical support to large and small companies directly impacted by COVID-19. During a time of immense pressure, he helped the NZ Debt Management and Export credit teams, ensuring New Zealand was resilient and recovered quickly from the pandemic. He became a trusted advisor with critical insight for many with his open and curious approach. No matter the circumstance, Andy always remained calm and reassuring. His intellectual and personal support during this time was invaluable for those around him. He is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Steve Ham, Director FMD Taskforce – Biosecurity NZ, Manatū Ahu Matua | Ministry for Primary Industries;
Steve is a leader who can always be relied upon. In his role as Director COVID-19, he led the design, development, and implementation of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ response function. By helping businesses navigate exemptions, Steve ensured that our key primary industry sectors were well supported through the pandemic. Using his previous experience and strong relationships across agencies, he identified key people, systems, policies, and procedures to respond to this dynamic situation. Steve became a central, trusted coordination point for the Ministry for Primary Industries with his unflappable nature and exemplary communication skills. He is described by colleagues as a go-to problem solver, with a unique brand of strategic pragmatism and good humour. Steve’s exceptional resilience and spirit of service makes him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Shayne Hunter, Formerly Deputy Director-General, Data & Digital, Manatū Hauora | Ministry of Health;
Shayne is an empowering leader who has made a positive difference in health technology. With experience across the Public Service, he has become a trusted ally for many. During the response to COVID-19 he was instrumental across many critical areas including initial efforts to secure medical supplies through to digital solutions including the Covid Tracer App, the National Contact Tracing Solution, Border Management and Workforce testing registers, patient management and immunisation. Throughout times of immense pressure, he navigated challenges with a clear vision and focus on strong collaboration. Shayne has been a brave catalyst for change and his spirit of service is evident to all those who work alongside him. He is a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Rose Jamieson, National Director, Parent Information & Community Intelligence, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education;
Rose is an authentic leader who champions the voice of Pacific communities. During COVID-19, Rose and her team ensured Pacific families were well equipped with the skills and tools to support their children’s learning. This response was agile and innovative, creating a digitally-enabled, culturally-safe space for Pacific people to build confidence in the education system. No matter what setting she is in, Rose builds true partnerships built on trust, humility, and reciprocity. Her team commend her innate intelligence, sense of humour and drive to make a real difference in people’s lives. Rose is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Keiran Kennedy, Manager Welfare and Oranga Tamariki, Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury;
Keiran leads with empathy, fairness, and fearlessness. As leader of the Treasury’s Welfare and Oranga Tamariki team, she has been instrumental in key COVID-19 response programmes, including the wage subsidy, leave subsidy and other income support measures that aided vulnerable New Zealanders. She has been a crucial thought leader in how these schemes are designed, delivered, monitored and evaluated, using connections across the public service to achieve this. Keiran continues to provide guidance at pace across significant policies and is pragmatic in her advice to Ministers and stakeholders. Despite her busy schedule, she actively creates an inclusive workplace and supports her team to reach their development goals. Keiran’s commitment to making a real difference makes her a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Jean Le Roux, Formerly Manager Transitions, Regions and Economic Development, Te Tai Ōhanga | The Treasury;
Jean lives the values of the Public Service every single day. During COVID-19, he led Treasury’s policy advice and worked tirelessly to design and implement key business support initiatives. He delivered viable and ongoing solutions for businesses and industries and had a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders. He became a highly trusted advisor to Ministers, senior leaders, and fellow colleagues with a clear ability to deliver services in a collaborative and effective way. No challenge is too big for him, and he thrives in navigating complex situations. Jean is humble about his own achievements and always puts the members of his team first. They describe him as kind, fun and passionate. Jean is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Ellen MacGregor-Reid, Deputy Secretary, Curriculum Centre, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education;
Ellen exemplifies what it means to be a public servant. Throughout the pandemic, she inspired collaboration and brought people together. From the start, she saw the significant risks that lockdowns brought to learners, putting in action steps to reduce the harm for children and young people. Through very challenging circumstances, Ellen motivated her team to serve New Zealand’s most vulnerable learners and to overcome any challenges that got in their way. Together they helped deliver learning packs, organised educational broadcasts and connected children’s homes with internet access to enable learning to continue at home. Ellen is someone who cares deeply, and this shines through her work. Her incredible commitment to her community makes her a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Andy Milne, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy Engagement and Planning, Te Kaporeihana Āwhina Hunga Whara | Accident Compensation Corporation;
Andy’s spirit of service is evident in the way he builds relationships and brings everyone together to serve the community. His extraordinary ability to connect with others and put them at ease ensured MIQ’s vast network was all on the same page and could continue to keep New Zealand safe from COVID-19. Andy is a true leader and team player. His colleagues say he always looks to shoulder as much of the burden as possible, while readily acknowledging the achievements and efforts of his team. Andy deeply values his connection with iwi, and iwi partners noted his exemplary leadership and true sense of partnership. He is not motivated by thanks or acknowledgement. His humility, devotion, energy, and enthusiasm make Andy a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Tina Paterson, Director, Service Delivery & Change, Manatū Ahu Matua | Ministry for Primary Industries;
Tina is an exemplary leader who is making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders. As lead of Government Health and Safety, she worked tirelessly at the forefront of MPI’s COVID-19 response. With an innate ability to connect people, Tina led her team to provide timely and practical support and guidance to cabinet, senior leaders and 40 agencies across the public sector. Through a time of uncertainty, this guidance and practical resources helped people with their health, safety, and overall wellbeing during the pandemic. Tina is generous with her time and shares her knowledge freely, whether it be through forums or everyday conversations. Her bold leadership has improved outcomes for all New Zealanders making her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Heather Peacocke, Formerly Head of Public Engagement and Communications, COVID-19 Response Group, Te Tari o te Pirimia me te Komiti Matua | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;
Heather demonstrates a passion for others in everything she does. She led the communications and public engagement for New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response including the Unite Against COVID-19 campaign and associated strategy, media, channels, content, and engagement. With her skill, patience, and perseverance, she has guided her team through challenging and ambiguous times. The communications campaign played a significant role in New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and has been recognised globally for its clarity and success. This could not have been done without Heather’s immense dedication, clear-minded approach and ability to uplift those working alongside her. With her outstanding sense of humility and strong desire to serve others, she is a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Viv Rickard, Deputy Chief Executive, Service Delivery, Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development;
Viv would describe his outstanding contribution to Aotearoa through the whakatauki “Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.” My achievement is not mine alone, but it is contribution of many. His spirit of service has shone through in his career, particularly during the COVID-19 response, where he was instrumental in the establishment of the wage subsidy, led the Care in the Community response and drove MSD’s employment response that supported record numbers of people into employment over this unprecedented time. He believes that there is no better way to care than to help someone who genuinely needs it. Viv’s incredible spirit of service makes him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Jenna Rogers, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Strategic Enablement, Te Rākau Whakamarumaru | National Emergency Management Agency;
Jenna is an active public service leader with strong connections to her community and played an instrumental role in setting up and supporting the National Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 welfare response. She has a natural ability to build strong relationships and worked closely with communities to get the job done. With experience across central and local government, she is a thought leader in finding comprehensive solutions. Jenna is a humble leader who does not seek the spotlight and is absolutely committed to the welfare of others, and getting the job done. She is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Geoff Short, Deputy Secretary, Policy Partnerships, Te Puni Kōkiri | Ministry of Māori Development;
Geoff has had a long career dedicated to serving New Zealanders. He is highly regarded for his policy development and leadership. During COVID-19, Geoff played a key role in the All-of-Government effort and in Te Puni Kōkiri’s pandemic response. He continually advocates for durable, whānau-centred policy and that one size does not fit all in addressing issues of equity. He is commended by his colleagues for his ability to articulate policy issues, recognise implications and to engage with Māori communities. His collaborative and comprehensive approach ensures Ministers are well informed in their decisions. Geoff is described as caring, highly engaged and someone who shares expertise for the betterment of others. He is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Grace Smit, Deputy Secretary, Strategy, Finance and Performance, Te Puni Kōkiri | Ministry of Māori Development;
Grace is a natural leader with a strong drive for change. She has a deep commitment to the wellbeing of Māori whānau and communities, ensuring this is prioritised in all government decisions. During COVID-19, Grace took on a leadership role to ensure Māori and Pacific communities had access to the essential services, vaccinations and care they required. Her actions made a truly tangible difference for New Zealanders, and she never lost sight of the bigger picture. She is described by her team as eloquent, inspiring, collaborative and someone who ensures ‘things get done’. Grace is a role model who does not seek recognition for her outstanding mahi, making her a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Rob Smith, Acting Group Manager – Maritime, Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa | New Zealand Customs Service;
Rob lives and breathes the spirit of service. He has worked tirelessly to ensure New Zealand’s maritime border is kept safe from COVID-19. Rob shows a true devotion to serving New Zealanders and is known for going the extra mile to build relationships with people through his collaborative and authentic approach. The trust he builds with people has been the key to his success. He is able to focus everybody on the task at hand and is a cool head in incredibly challenging times. Rob went above and beyond to protect the people of New Zealand in unprecedented circumstances and is a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Suzanne Stew, Deputy Secretary, Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment;
Suzanne demonstrates the spirit of service, day in and day out. She is passionate about helping others, especially our most vulnerable. During COVID-19, Suzanne brought people together, leading the establishment of a remote multi-agency contact centre from scratch. She also played a critical role in providing timely information to businesses, operationalising the Business Travel Register and delivery of Rapid Antigen Testing kits across New Zealand. This ensured that critical services were available to the public in one of New Zealand’s greatest times of need. Suzanne is often the first person to put up her hand when help is needed, making her a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary, Building, Resources and Markets, Hīkina Whakatutuki | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment;
Paul is a reflective and courageous leader who has a desire for public policy to serve all New Zealanders. Paul’s dedication is motivated by his commitment to ensuring that all people thrive and prosper. Through his long and varied public service career, he has overseen significant changes such as the creation of the NZ Space Agency, major reforms in Immigration, development in the NZ Income Insurance Scheme and beyond. Paul was vital to the COVID-19 response, dedicated to guiding, crafting, and implementing policy settings that aided movement of critical workers and the continuation of essential services. He believes in fairness and balance and ensures staff wellbeing is prioritised. Paul is always willing to go the extra mile for others, making him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Shelley Tucker, Formerly Policy Manager, Te Manatū Waka | Ministry of Transport
Shelley is an inspiring public service leader and role model. Her work has been instrumental in supporting the transport system to function during COVID-19. Never deterred by obstacles, Shelley’s deep understanding of the transport system supported the Ministry to provide ongoing, quick-fire, credible, and responsive advice to decision-makers. Her work supported the continuation of transport connectivity for the public and supply chains and therefore the wellbeing of all New Zealanders. She has been described by many as empathetic, agile, and committed to a truly ‘whole of government’ approach. Shelley creates a positive and supportive work environment for her team during difficult times and is always driven by a spirit of service, making her a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- John Walsh, Director, Readiness and Response Services, Manatū Ahu Matua | Ministry for Primary Industries;
John’s work has been recognised globally for the impact it has had on so many lives. He was a key figure in developing New Zealand’s COVID-19 communications strategy, including the Unite Against COVID branding, the alert level framework, and the ‘team of five million’ campaign. John has an ability to tap into the hearts and minds of New Zealanders, encouraging a true team effort of care and support. His colleagues note his infectious enthusiasm and passion for his work. Many New Zealanders are alive, well, and working today in no small part due to John’s dedication. His incredible work and commitment to the safety of all of our people make him a fitting recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.
- Stephen Waugh, Manager, Auckland Airport, Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa | New Zealand Customs Service.
Stephen is committed to serving New Zealand and protecting its border. His colleagues describe him as relentless in his efforts to ensure our maritime border was kept safe from COVID-19 – and as someone who always puts the safety of others first. Stephen is a people person above all. He held responsibilities from Northland to Bluff and was known to make himself personally available to all, even in the busiest of times. This quality also allowed Stephen to build a close and high-functioning team which protected communities around the country. His absolute dedication to all New Zealanders makes him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.