Cook Islanders receive Queen’s Birthday Honours

Tuesday June 04, 2019 Written by Published in National
Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters with his wife Lady Tuaine Marsters and the recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours (in front from left) Iro Pae Puna, Rima David and Rau Nga at Government House yesterday. Standing on the left is Inspector John Strickland. INSET: Ewan Smith. 19060304 Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters with his wife Lady Tuaine Marsters and the recipients of the Queen’s Birthday Honours (in front from left) Iro Pae Puna, Rima David and Rau Nga at Government House yesterday. Standing on the left is Inspector John Strickland. INSET: Ewan Smith. 19060304

Businessman Ewan Smith received one of the highest New Zealand honours after becoming a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

 

Smith, the founder and principal of Air Rarotonga, received this recognition as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours announced in New Zealand over the weekend.

The Arorangi resident and chairman of the Cook Islands Tourism board, was recognised for his services to Cook Islands business and tourism.

At home in Rarotonga, three distinguished Cook Islanders – Rima David, Iro Pae Puna and Rau Nga – were recognised for their service to the public and the community at Government House yesterday.

Rima David received the British Empire Medal from the Queen’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters. David was recognised for her service to the public sector, especially as former registrar of the High Court and Justice of the Peace (JP) as well as for her community work in the village of Ngatangiia.

Puna received the medal of the Member of the British Empire for his long and distinguished career in the public service. He was the first probation officer in the country and a former Public Service Commissioner.

Puna, who is the elder brother of prime minister Henry Puna, was also recognised for his contribution to the Aitutaki community in Rarotonga.

Nga was honoured for his contribution to sports and community. He was the administrator and coach of the Cook Islands Rugby Union in the late 1990s.

Nga was also the original Cook Islander who helped in the establishment of rugby league in the country. He had a strong rugby personality in New Zealand and came close to representing the New Zealand Maori side during his heyday.

2 comments

  • Comment Link Seth Bird Sunday, 09 June 2019 23:10 posted by Seth Bird

    Congratulations Ewan. I have just read the good news. You are truly a kind and generous man who has have given many young Cook Islanders the opportunity and encouragement to develop and succeed while providing an impeccable air service for the Cook Islands for many years. You are a true legend and this honour is absolutely deserved.

    Seth Bird NZ, Air NZ Station Engineer Rarotonga 1980-1989

  • Comment Link Dave ParkerNZ Tuesday, 04 June 2019 10:51 posted by Dave ParkerNZ

    CONGRATULATIONS EWAN, Well deserved. You have dedicated your time and energies to the development and enhancement of the Tourism Industry in the Cook Islands. Over the past 45yrs, I have either brought or sent many hundreds of Visitors to the Cooks, many of whom have experienced and taken advantage of Air Rarotonga's comprehensive network.You are a legend Ewan. Enjoy the moment and celebrate with your family and friends.

    Congratulations to all Cook Islanders who have also received Queen's Honours.
    Dave Parker QSM JP NZ

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