Catholic doctor Monique Faleafa was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. According to the New Zealand High Commission in Samoa, Dr Faleafa was recognised for her services to the Pacific community and health.

“She has done outstanding work in making a positive difference in the lives of Pacific people, including around accessing mental health, addiction, disability and general health services, so that our communities can lead healthy lives and reach our fullest potential,” the commission
said in a Facebook posting.

Dr Faleafa has served Pacific communities in the not-for-profit sector, district health boards, academia and social services for more than 17 years as a clinician, and as an advocate
for improving health and social outcomes for Pacific communities.

She was appointed in 2013 as the founding chief executive of Le Va — a New Zealand non-government organisation that specialises in Pacific suicide prevention, mental health and
addiction workforce development, disability support services, public health, cultural competency and holistic wellbeing.

On the Le Va website, Dr Faleafa stated that it is an honour and a privilege to be in a role that serves Pacific communities every day at a national level.

“I am blessed to have opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of Pacific people accessing mental health, addiction, disability and general health services, so that
our communities can lead healthy lives and reach our fullest potential.”

She is also described as contributing at governance levels, serving on the Health Promotion Agency, MBIE Science Challenge Board, the Westpac External Stakeholder panel, and has been the deputy chair of the New Zealand Psychologists’ Board since 2009.

Dr Faleafa is on various committees that advise the Ministry of Health.

She also serves on the Pacific Advisory Group and is a mental health adviser to Australia’s National Rugby League, is an alumni of the commonwealth Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue, and one of only two Pacific Associate Members of Global Women.

Dr Faleafa achieved distinction in her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology from the University of Auckland.