Long-time principal and teacher at St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College in Napier Georgina Kingi has been made a Dame (DNZM) in the New Year’s Honours List.

Miss Kingi has been principal of St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College since 1987, having taught at the school since 1969. She has also been a member of the Education Expert Panel for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference president Bishop Patrick Dunn offered the bishops’ congratulations “to Dame Georgina Kingi on this very special and public acknowledgement of her dedication and commitment to Maori Catholic education”.

“There will be many young women, pupils past and present around New Zealand and overseas who will be delighted and proud to hear of Miss Kingi becoming a Dame,” he noted.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said, “Dame Georgina has worked tirelessly in education for over 40 years and has played a pivotal role in the education of generations of young Maori women. This honour is truly deserved.”

Miss Kingi said she is humbled by the honour.

“Maori and Catholic values underpin everything we do”, she said, which gave the bilingual school a “dual special character”, she told the Hawkes Bay Today.

Also in this year’s honours list is Catholic prison chaplain Mary Kamo who is made a Companion of the Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to prisoners.

“We are delighted that one of our dedicated and hardworking prison chaplains has been publicly acknowledged for work which is challenging, little known and takes place behind the scenes,” Bishop Dunn said.

“The award acknowledges her work supporting prisoners and accompanying them as they begin to turn their lives around and looking to reintegrate into the community,” he said.

“In this time of celebration we thank them for their ministries and pray for their continued energy and dedication,” he said.

Lawyer Peter Kiely, a brother of Auckland’s Msgr Bernard Kiely, was also honoured for services to New Zealand’s interests in the Pacific and to law.

Mr Kiely, who is chairman of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, is made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The following are the citations accompanying the honours list for the three Catholics mentioned previously.

Dame Georgina Kingi (DNZM) for services to Māori and education

Miss Georgina Kingi has been the principal of St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College since 1987, having taught at the school since 1969.

Miss Kingi has worked to ensure the provision of quality education, and the teaching of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori in the school.

She is a licensed Māori interpreter, a foundation member and former chairperson of the Hawke’s Bay Māori Language Association, and has been a representative on the Māori syllabus committee.

She has been a member of a number of principals’ associations since the 1980s and the Hawke’s Bay Catholic District Council.

She is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Taradale, which has been involved in several partnerships with St Joseph’s.

In collaboration with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council she arranged for St Joseph’s students to visit Hawke’s Bay’s sister city in China in a mutual cultural exchange.

She is heavily involved with St Joseph’s Senior Kapa Haka team, which has performed nationally and internationally.

St Joseph’s was rated the top girls’ school in Hawke’s Bay in 2012.

Miss Kingi was a member of the Education Expert Panel for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards in 2014 and led the planning for the National Manu Korero speech competition.
Mary Kamo (CNZM) for services to the welfare of prisoners

Mrs Mary Kamo was the first laywoman appointed to the New Zealand prison chaplaincy and recently resigned after 33 years working with prisoners at Christchurch Women’s, Paparua Men’s and Rolleston Prisons.

Mrs Kamo initially focused on providing ministry to prisoners and then increased the scope of her work to include counselling and support to both prisoners and staff.

Her interest in inmates’ lives has often extended beyond the prison gates, as she has sought to help them successfully reintegrate into society.

As well as offering inmates spiritual guidance, she has helped with their practical needs outside prison, often at her own expense.

She has been an early advocate for restorative justice and after the Canterbury earthquakes she was involved with the Community Justice Panel, which provided an alternative to court for low-level offenders.

Along with her husband she has been kaumatua to Pillars Ka Pou Whakahou, a charity that aims to break cycles of inter-generational offending by ensuring children with a parent in a New Zealand prison has access to support services.

Mrs Kamo is a member of the Maori Women’s Welfare League and is a strong advocate against violence towards women.

Peter Kiely (ONZM) for services to New Zealand’s interests in the Pacific and law

Mr Peter Kiely is the senior partner at Kiely Thompson Caisley, an employment and constitutional Auckland law firm, and has had a long association and commitment to promoting New Zealand’s interests in the Pacific and fostering growth and business in the region.

Mr Kiely is chairman of the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust and the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

His long association in helping promote New Zealand’s interests in the Pacific have included a directorship on the Board of Pacific Forum Line between 1991 and 2001.

He was the chair of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisory Committee on External Aid and Development from 1996 to 2001, prior to the development of New Zealand Aid.

He was a foundation member of the Papua New Guinea-New Zealand Business Council in 1993 and wrote its constitution.

He is an active member of the Fiji-New Zealand Business Council and a founding member of the French-New Zealand Business Council.

In 1999, he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Employment Law at Victoria University and he is also a member of the Industrial Relations Centre Advisory Board, part of the Victoria University of Wellington Management School.

Mr Kiely has been the honorary consul for the Slovak Republic since 2000.