Queen’s Birthday honours continues to show gender balance

The National Council of Women of New Zealand congratulates all recipients of the 2020 Queen’s Birthday honours, and welcomes the even balance in the awarding.

“It’s important to consider what we celebrate and award at this level – as it reflects what we value in society,” says National Council of Women of New Zealand President, Lisa Lawrence.

“NCWNZ believes the New Year and Queen’s Birthday honours lists should contain gender balance reflecting the true paid and unpaid contribution of individuals.”

“'The communities of New Zealand need to be represented in respect to culture, gender and disability. We've been delighted to see the five year average continue to show an increase in women receiving awards – let’s keep progressing the recognition and celebration of our people.”

From Queen’s Birthday 2016 to Queen’s Birthday 2020, women were awarded an average of 48%, compared with the 2014 – 2018 average of 41%.

This year’s honours present an even balance in the awarding of honours: 90 (51%) to men and 88 (49%) to women. The last time men received more honours than women was the 2018 New Year honours list.

More men (51%) received the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZ to MNZM), and more women (51%) received the Queen Service awards. Again, the first time this has happened since the 2018 New Year honours list.

Congratulations are extended to the 178 people who received a Queen’s Birthday honour, especially to those with a relationship to NCWNZ, or were awarded for services to women:

  • Mrs Aroha Hohipera Reriti-Crofts - DNZM for services to Māori and the community. Past president of Māori Women’s Welfare League.
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Rosemary Ann Du Plessis - ONZM for services to women and education. Former NCWNZ Public Issues Standing Committee co-convenor.
  • Beverly Ann May – ONZM for services to cycling. The first woman in New Zealand to gain a cycle license to race competitively against men.
  • Mrs Avis Janett Ann Rishworth – ONZM for services to women. Women’s Institute representative to NCWNZ.
  • Ms Georgina Beyer, JP – MNZM for services to LGBTIQA+ rights. Chaired the Social Services Select Committee, and supported the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 and the Civil Union Act 2004.
  • Ms Marianne Bishop – MNZM for services to the union movement and the community. On National Executive of E tū from 2015-2018. President of Wellington Area Group, Pan Pacific South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA).
  • Ms Jacqueline Leigh Edmond – MNZM for services to sexual and reproductive health. Current Chief Executive of Family Planning.
  • Mrs Sandra Jenkins – MNZM for services to education. Representative or an appointed member of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI Te Riu Roa).
  • Dr Sarah Isabella Leberman – MNZM for services to women, sport and tertiary education. Co-developed the University sector-wide New Zealand Women in Leadership programme.
  • Tofilau Bernadette Barbara Pereira - MNZM for services to the Pacific community and women. Former National President of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A, member of Manukau Branch.
  • Mrs Aseta Redican – MNZM for services to health and Pacific peoples. Founding member of PACIFICA and the National Council of Samoan Women in New Zealand.
  • Ms Susan Mary Sherrard – MNZM for services to people with disabilities. Founder of the Disabled Women’s Forum.
  • Ms Lita Foliaki – MNZM for services to the Pacific community. Previous secretary of Pacifica Women's national group.
  • Ms Kay Michelle Brereton – QSM for services to the welfare of beneficiaries. Member of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group in 2018.
  • Afamasaga Agnes Rasmussen – QSM for services to education and the Pacific community. Volunteer for PACIFICA Inc. for more than 40 years and is a Life Member of the Manukau branch.
  • Miss Melva Joy Robb - QSM for services to rural communities and women. Elected member National Council of Rural Women New Zealand.
  • Ms Gwenyth Mary Wright – QSM for services to women and the community. Established the Thames Women’s Loan Fund.

The full honours list can be viewed at https://dpmc.govt.nz/publications/queens-birthday-honours-list-2020

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