‘‘Queen’’ dishes out honours

Northern News - - FRONT PAGE - BAY­LEY MOOR

Kaitaia good sorts have been hon­oured by the Queen - but not the Queen of Eng­land.

Founder of #ILoveKaitaia - a so­cial me­dia cam­paign to pro­mote pos­i­tive mes­sages in the town Naomi Austen-Reid was keen to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing.

At Christ­mas time, she and a group of helpers dec­o­rated the main street with tin­sel, for Valen­tines Day, pink hearts lined the street and for St Patrick’s Day, Austen-Reid dressed up as a lep­rechaun and placed pots of [choco­late] gold in the town­ship.

Ahead of the Queen’s Birth­day Week­end, she called for nom­i­na­tions for peo­ple that de­served to be recog­nised for their work and ser­vice in the Far North. Around 300 nom­i­na­tions rolled in, mak­ing it a tough de­ci­sion.

‘‘It was over­whelm­ing to read all of the tes­ti­mo­ni­als. It tugged at your heart­strings,’’ Austen-Reid says. ‘‘I knew all along that there are amaz­ing peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, but this re­ally ce­mented in my mind that I come from a great com­mu­nity.’’

Nom­i­na­tions fil­tered into five cat­e­gories; sport, cul­ture, youth, ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity. Austen-Reid dressed up as a queen and sur­prised each re­cip­i­ent with a cer­tifi­cate, heart medal, flow­ers and spon­sored vouch­ers.

For her con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity, Lois Strong was nom­i­nated for her vol­un­tary work mak­ing hospice nurse lunches, kapa haka out­fits for Pa­parore School, and bak­ing for fundrais­ing events.

Strong also vis­its those who are at their last stages of life and records their life sto­ries which she com­piles for a spe­cial keep­sake book for the fam­ily.

San­dra and Chris Henare were recog­nised for cul­ture for their ser­vices to the com­mu­nity in kapa haka. They be­gan teach­ing kapa haka at Te Kura Kau­papa Maori O Te Rangi Ani­waniwa and went on to share their knowl­edge with many schools in the re­gion be­fore start­ing Muri­whenua Kapa haka in 2009.

Glo­ria Harrison was hon­oured for more than 25 years ser­vice to net­ball, as a player, coach, um­pire and ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Ash­ley Waitai-Dye was recog­nised for her work with youth, in­clud­ing as a youth coach for Youth Ser­vice Kaitaia, co­or­di­na­tor of the RAID Move­ment Muri­whenua. Pa­parore School prin­ci­pal John Windle­born, was nom­i­nated for his ser­vices to ed­u­ca­tion.

BAY­LEY MOOR/FAIR­FAX NZ

Bark­ing, wag­ging tails, and ex­cited dogs cre­ated an in­ter­est­ing sight at Me­mo­rial Park in Kaikohe at a spe­cial dog event. Lo­cal dogs were mi­crochipped for free, with some also el­i­gi­ble for free de­sex­ing. Pic­tured is Girl, a bull mas­tiff cross, at the nga kuri auau o Kaikohe day. The ini­tia­tive was hosted by the Far North District Coun­cil - 95 dogs turned up, with 85 mi­crochipped on the day. A to­tal of 80 dogs were signed up for de­sex­ing. See more pic­tures on P7.

Naomi and San­dra.

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