Four Mahurangi locals featured in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. They were:
Clare Wells, Waipu.
Queen’s Service Order (QSO) – for services to early childhood education.
A driver of quality early childhood education for more than 40 years, Clare Wells is currently a board member of the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand. She is the former chief executive of New Zealand Kindergartens. Ms Wells has campaigned for universal access to quality early childhood education services, a progressive teaching workforce and partnership with government to support the growth of community-based services. Ms Wells was instrumental in the development of the first early learning strategic plan in the early 2000s.
David Ling, Mangawhai
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) – for services to the publishing industry.
David Ling is a publisher of New Zealand fiction and Māori literature, including the works of Witi Ihimaera, Paul Moon, Maurice Shadbolt, James McNeish, Michael King, Fiona Kidman, Janet Frame and Tessa Duder. He was a director of general and educational publishing companies for nearly 20 years before establishing David Ling Publishing in 1992. Mr Ling is an active member of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, previously serving as a Councillor of the Association from 1998 to 2011, and was made an Honorary Life Member in 2011. Mr Ling is a supporter of workshops and festivals that encourage new writing and illustration. He is a former member of the New Zealand Post Book Awards and Children’s Book Awards’ management committees.
Donald McKay, Maungaturoto
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) – for services to seniors and the community.
Donald McKay served as chair of the Maungaturoto Community Charitable Trust (MCCT) for 30 years and remains a board member after stepping down as chair. The MCCT focuses on support for seniors. Under Mr McKay’s leadership, the MCCT has established a 14-bed rest home, 14 low-priced rental units, 14 further discounted housing units and numerous rooms for doctors and other health professionals at low-cost. More recently he has been a key driver for the establishment of a 14-bed dementia facility. Mr McKay has also volunteered for his local Lions Club in Northland, where he has organised numerous working bees, community events and fundraisers.
Roger Williams, Warkworth
Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) – for services to conservation
As a civil engineer, Mr Williams designed and led the building of a 16-metre high viewing tower at the Maungatautari Ecological Island Reserve and has designed and built walkways, boardwalks, bridges and cycleways in various local parks and nature reserves around the Warkworth area, including the Tawharanui Regional Park, Kowhai Park, the Cement Works Walkway, and Matheson Bay Kohuroa Track. At Parry Kauri Park, Mr Williams designed and built Kauri Dieback Forest Hygiene Stations as a prototype for other at-risk areas. He has been a member of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society for more than 40 years and in recent years has run their local weeding and planting teams.