Aged care worker and pay equity advocate Kristine Bartlett has added Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to equal pay advocacy to her title of 2018 New Zealander of the Year.  Her Queen’s Birthday citation notes that through “three court cases, two appeals and innumerable meetings Ms Bartlett has played a significant role in bringing about changes in New Zealand’s legal landscape and paving the way for women in many industries to query wage rates to ensure equity”. Bartlett told the New Zealand Herald that it took her a long time to decide whether to accept the honour stressing that the equal pay win was a team effort – with the E Tū union and her fellow workers – that she was just the figurehead of.

“I am just an ordinary woman who likes to get on with it. If someone told me I’d be here in six years I would have laughed and said ‘yeah right’.”

She said the latest honour had been overwhelming for her.

Dermatologist Dr Amanda Oakley, the founder of the DermNet NZ – world’s most popular online resource for skin health –became a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to dermatology. In response to the honour she tweeted her thanks to staff and volunteers for their “stellar contributions” to DermNet NZ over the years and she was “truly honoured, humbled and proud” by the award. But added: “much more to do”.  Oakley launched the site in 1995 which now receives two million visitors a month and she continues as Editor in Chief.  She has practised as a dermatologist in the Waikato region since 1986 and was clinical director of Waikato District Health Board’s dermatology department for 12 years and is a former president of the New Zealand Dermatological Society.

Faye Sumner, the chief executive of the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) since 2000, is another new Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to the medical technology sector.  She has contributed to medical industry development for 30 years and her citation notes her work developing the relationships between MTANZ and stakeholder groups including clinicians, research agencies, government agencies and innovation hubs and also her key role in developing the industry’s Code of Practice.

Elizabeth Bang, the chief executive of Hospice Waikato for more than a decade and the women who lead the fundraising team to develop a specialise hospice facility in Hamilton has been made a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to health, women and the community.  Bang was also president of the National Council of Women from 2008 to 2012.

Christchurch paediatric surgeon, Professor Spencer Beasley, who helped develop a regional service for paediatric surgery across the South Island has become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to paediatrics. The clinical director of Christchurch Hospital’s paediatric surgery department, President of the New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons and former President of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Paediatric Surgeons. He is also a member of the Male Champions of Change group, made up of senior leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics committed to achieving gender equality in their organisations and fields.

Christine Brears, one of the founders in 1989 of an award-winning Taumaranui Community Kokiri Trust that advocated for children’s health services has been awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for her services to Māori and health. She is CEO of the trust that now employs more than 100 staff and offers a range of integrated services across justice, education and social development, along with mental health and addiction services, budgeting, advocacy support, and tailored health services.

Australian-based Professor Robert Love, a former chair of the Dental Council and the former head of the oral diagnostic and surgical sciences department of University of Otago’s dentistry faculty – who trained the majority of the country’s practising endodontists – has become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to dentistry. Love is a recognised international expert in dental accreditation, education and regulation and a multi-award winning researcher.

Graeme Titcombe, the CEO of Access Community Health – a home support and health care provider for 16 years – was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to the home support sector and the community. Under his leadership Access grew ten-fold to become one of the largest providers in the country and is now part of Green Cross Health.  Titcombe was also chair of the national sector organisation – now known as the Home and Community Health Association for six years.

Pioneering Auckland researcher, Associate Professor Bronwen Connor is a neuropharmacologist whose work has included investigating gene therapies and stem cell replacement therapies for conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, stroke and depression. She has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to the treatment of neurological disorders including pioneering the use of anti-psychotic drugs for treatment of multiple sclerosis.  She is the Director for Educational Outreach for the Centre of Brain Research and has developed and led the Being Brainy programme, a platform of online learning modules on the human brain for students in Years One to Eight being used in more than 150 schools.

Fellow University of Auckland researcher, Associate Professor Janet Fanslow, has also become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to the research and prevention of family violence.  Based at the university’s School of Population Health she has been researching family violence for more than 20 years and her work has been instrumental in proving the high prevalence rate and in gaining recognition that family violence was a treatable health issue.  She was principal investigator of the Health Research Council-funded New Zealand Violence Against Women Survey (NZVAWS) in 2003, the largest study of violence against women undertaken in the country with 2,855 women consulted in face-to-face interviews.

Christchurch consultant forensic pathologist Dr Martin Sage – who for much of his career was the only full-time forensic pathologist living in the South Island – has become a companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for services to the forensic pathology. Sage has conducted more than 10,000 autopsies for coroners across the country, presented evidence in many well-publicised homicide trials and been an expert forensic pathologist for some of the country’s worst disasters including Cave Creek, the Christchurch earthquake and Pike River.

Te Awamutu GP Dr Mary Ballantyne been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to women’s and children’s health after helping establishing a busy general practice focused on family health. She established a Women’s Health and Menopause Clinic with after-hours appointments to improve access for working women and those with young familie, co-run a General Practitioner Gynaecological Clinic to address a backlog of clients and was a driving force in the pilot group establishing the Kihikihi Health Hub, that provides a free GP service for the decile two primary school.

Nelson nurse Penny Molnar – who has been involved in Nelson-based community organisations for more than 30 years and recently retired after 20 years as a community nurse – receives a Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to the community.  She was one of the founders of Victory Community Health, which in league with Victory Primary School founded the Victory Community Centre. She served as the Centre’s Be Well Community Nurse for 10 years offering health services free of charge and support to local families in a role she described to the Nelson Mail as “social work with a health focus”.

Methven GP Dr John McGettigan has been a GP for the Methven community for 40 years and has been awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to rural health.  He began as the district’s sole doctor working from a consulting room in his home and was the driving force behind establishing the Methven Medical Centre which is now an established rural medicine training hub for sixth year medical students.

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