Gender was no bar to newly named dame
Justice Judith Potter was appointed a Dame Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to the judiciary.
Dame Judith was a judge of the New Zealand High Court from 1997 until 2012.
She was the first female president of the New Zealand Law Society and was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1994 for services to the legal profession.
The Epsom resident says New Zealand has led the way for women in the legal profession but believes there is room for improvement.
‘‘We have been a leader since giving women the right to vote in 1893.
‘‘In my practising time, which is over 50 years, I have seen many changes but it is still a challenge to see women at the top of the legal profession,’’ she says.
During her career her roles have included being a director of the Electricity Corporation, a director of the New Zealand Guardian Trust Company and chairwoman of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Following her retirement from the New Zealand High Court Dame Judith took her expertise to the Pacific Islands.
In 2012 she was appointed a Judge of the High Court of the Cook Islands and the Court of Appeal of the Pitcairn Islands. Nilima Venkatakrishnan has been a volunteer com- munity co-ordinator for the Ministry of Social Development’s Office for Senior Citizens since 2006. Mrs Venkatakrishnan was appointed a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to senior citizens and the Indian community.
Since 1998, she has been actively involved in community projects focusing on providing good quality agedcare services, specifically for older Indian adults and their families living in Auckland.
The Mt Roskill resident has delivered Positive Ageing programmes and worked with Housing New Zealand to facilitate the resettlement of older people.
Her contributions have allowed older Indian and South Indian communities in Auckland to feel welcomed, engaged and able to contribute to their communities.
Long-serving community worker Anand Naidu was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the Indian community.
Mr Naidu started doing community work upon his arrival from Fiji in 1987 when he joined the Auckland Ramayan Sanstha Trust in Mangere.
He was a member until 2000, serving as president for the last five years.
Through the trust he fundraised to build a community hall in South Auckland.
The Mt Roskill resident was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2000.
In the same year he joined the Waitakere Indian Association, where he served as a spokesman on reducing family violence.
His other work includes helping establish the Waitakere Language and Culture School and the Waitakere Youth and Sports Group.
Mr Naidu says he felt ‘‘most humbled’’ and acknowledged the immense support he has received from his family and friends.
Humble: Anand Naidu, Queen’s Service Medal.
A dame: Justice Judith Potter.