Gongs for Tawa, Porirua res­i­dents

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Five peo­ple in the Porirua basin have been recog­nised in the Queen’s Birth­day honours, for ser­vices to mu­sic, the state and com­mu­nity, and the Sri Lankan and Toke­lauan com­mu­ni­ties.

Craig Ut­ting and El­iz­a­beth Sneyd, from Tawa, re­ceived Queen’s Ser­vice Medals for their work as mu­sic teach­ers. They jointly run the Mu­sic Learn­ing Cen­tre from their home, pro­vid­ing lessons vir­tu­ally free for chil­dren from fam­i­lies un­able to af­ford mu­sic lessons.

In 2013 Sneyd co-founded a char­i­ta­ble trust to pro­vide free mu­sic tu­ition to stu­dents from low- decile Porirua schools.

The pair have do­nated more than 100 in­stru­ments to the trust and give their time to run the free mu­sic pro­gramme with help from other vol­un­teers.

Since last year, their Vir­tu­oso Strings Orches­tra has been based in Can­nons Creek.

It has more than 100 mu­sic stu­dents and now per­forms reg­u­larly.

Teaku Pe­taia, from Can­nons Creek, re­ceived a Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the Toke­lauan com­mu­nity.

He is a found­ing mem­ber of the Atafu Toke­lau Com­mu­nity Group, formed in the 1970s with an ini­tial fo­cus on sup­port­ing Toke­lauan mi­grants to New Zealand.

Pe­taia has been vi­cepres­i­dent and pres­i­dent of the group and is an ac­tive mem­ber of the Toke­lau El­ders Group and a found­ing mem­ber of the Toke­lau Welling­ton Lead­er­ship Group, which ad­vises the gov­ern­ment.

The group con­trib­uted to the devel­op­ment of Toke­lau Lan­guage Week in 2012, now an an­nual event.

In Porirua, Pe­taia has been in­volved with the Pa­cific Is­lands Pres­by­te­rian Church for more than 40 years.

Dr Daniel Muthu­mala, from Tawa, has been awarded a Queen’s Ser­vice Medal for ser­vices to the Sri Lankan com­mu­nity.

He has been in­volved with the Sri Lankan com­mu­nity since the early 1980s and helped es­tab­lish the United Sri Lanka As­so­ci­a­tion in 1983, serv­ing as sec­re­tary from 1992 un­til 1995.

He pi­o­neered the estab­lish­ment of the Sri Lanka As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand in 2004, to pro­mote the Sri Lankan cul­ture, par­tic­u­larly among young peo­ple.

Muthu­mala has worked with marae in the re­gion to stage cul­tural pre­sen­ta­tions, was con­vener and a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Welling­ton Ther­avada Bud­dhist As­so­ci­a­tion from 1981 un­til 1989, and helped raised funds dur­ing the Sri Lankan tsunami ap­peal.

Paul Swallow, from Plim­mer­ton, was made a Mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit.

The award was for his work with Busi­ness New Zealand and the Christchurch Earth­quake Ap­peal Trust fol­low­ing the 2011 earth­quakes.

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