Novelist heads honoured central Aucklanders
An internationally renowned author, a dance diva and a Samoan sports star are among some of the central Aucklanders acknowledged in the 2014.
New Years Honours List: Mt Eden author Eleanor Catton, 28, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. Ms Catton received the Man Booker Prize last year for her impressive novel The Luminaries making her the youngest recipient of the prestigious literary award. She is the second Kiwi to get their hands on a Man Booker following in the footsteps of Keri Hulme who gained the prize in 1985.
Also acknowledged for services to literature is Epsom resident Kevin Chapman, who was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Mr Chapman has been involved in the country's publishing industry since the late 1970s. He worked to gain New Zealand Country of Honour at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair. His efforts enabled more than 50 Kiwi publishing houses to gain exposure in Germany and throughout Europe.
Former Silver Fern Rita Fatialofa-Patolo was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to sport. The Mt Roskill resident has represented the country in both netball and softball, achieving world championship titles in both sports. She was inducted into the NZ Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and the NZ Samoan Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. These days she coaches netball at secondary school level.
For services to the health and Pacific community Laurel Taufauata was made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Mrs Taufauata has been a member of the Pacific women's empowerment group PACIFICA since its establishment in 1976. The Onehunga resident has also been a key player in several other health initiatives for Pacific people.
Epsom resident Manoj Daji was awarded with the Queen's Service Medal for services to sport and education. Mr Daji has a history with hockey dating back to the 1980s. He began playing at provincial level in 1985 and worked his way up to help coach the national hockey team for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He is the chief executive officer of College Sport Auckland.
For dedicating her life to dance Candy Lane has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal. Ms Lane has represented New Zealand internationally on the dance floor, competing, lecturing and judging at a world class level. Despite treading the boards in London's West End she is arguably best known for her role as host, demonstrator and choreographer on Dancing with the Stars.