Services to north recognised

20:54, Jun 06 2012

This year's Queen's Birthday honours list features several people who have contributed much to Northland.

Three Far North citizens were honoured as was a national figure, who's well known to Kerikeri – even if he doesn't call the Far North home.

Susan Bree of Opua is named a Member of the NZ Order of Merit.


Ms Bree has worked as a midwife in the region for three decades. Her work sees her cover a large rural area. She is honoured for her service to socially disadvantaged, or unemployed, sectors of society. She is credited as a key figure in making the Northland midwives a cohesive group. Ms Bree is an Asia-Pacific representative to the International Confederation of Midwives.

Okaihau's Colin Thomas receives a Queen's Service Medal for his service to the New Zealand Fire Service.

Mr Thomas helped form the Northland Volunteer Chief Fire Officers Association.


The decorated firefighter has spent 44 years in service to the Okaihau Volunteer Fire Brigade, including 34 years as its chief fire officer.

He is well known in local schools as he has spent a great deal of time promoting fire safety in the Kaikohe district.

Wade Doak, from Ngunguru, earned a Queen's Service Medal for his service to marine conservation.

The artist – writer, photographer, film-maker – was one of the first to advocate for the protection of the marine environment in the 1960s. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Poor Knights Islands as a marine reserve.

Mr Doak's work with eco-dive tourism is noteworthy as is his ability to create dialogue in his advocacy.

Michael Houstoun, from Feilding, is honoured as a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit.

The internationally renowned pianist, has won multiple awards over his long career and is the patron of several piano competitions, including the Kerikeri International Piano Competition, which he has helped put on the map.

Bay Chronicle