Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui
New Zealand Public Service Medal

The New Zealand Public Service Medal is awarded to public servants who have given meritorious service.

Medal recipients are people who:

  • have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to New Zealand and New Zealanders
  • are exemplary, or a model for other Public Service employees
  • bring significant benefit to New Zealand or the Public Service
  • are exceptional and otherwise worthy of recognition.

The New Zealand Public Service Medal was established by Royal Warrant in 2018 and is part of the New Zealand Royal Honours system.

Five medals were awarded for the first time in November 2018. Read more

In 2019, six medals were awarded. Read more

Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho
State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence

The State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence is awarded for outstanding spirit of service shown by a public servant.

Commendation recipients are people who:

  • demonstrate exceptional care and commitment to New Zealanders, and a ‘higher purpose' motivation
  • demonstrate the highest standard of integrity, kaitiakitanga, and the right attitude
  • generate pride in the Public Sector.

Nine commendations were awarded for the first time in November 2018. Read more

In 2019, 10 commendations were awarded. Read more

Ngā kaiwhiwhi mo Te Rā Kāwanatanga | Public Service Day Award recipients 2019

Te Tohu Ratonga Tūmatanui
New Zealand Public Service Medal

Kay MacDonald

Ms Kaye MacDonald (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Waitaha)
Regional Manager, Upper South Island
Oranga Tamariki

Kaye has worked tirelessly in child protection – one of the most challenging areas of public service – for nearly 30 years. In this time, she has helped countless whānau and tamariki/mokopuna.

Kaye is a public servant whose passion, strategic thinking, integrity and compassion has brought a ground-breaking approach to Oranga Tamariki working in genuine partnership with iwi.

Known for her ability to work collaboratively to find the people and groups needed to support tamariki/mokopuna in need, Kaye respects the contributions of community partners to child protection and whanau wellbeing. Kaye demonstrates her spirit of service in the way she constantly strives to make sure the child is at the centre of all discussions, while listening to the voices of whānau and the wisdom of kaumātua and working collaboratively with partners and iwi.

Kaye’s leadership and commitment to improving the lives of New Zealand’s tamariki/mokopuna make her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.

John Henderson

Mr John Henderson
Regional Commissioner for Social Development
Ministry of Social Development

The spirit of service has shone through John’s 41 years of dedicated support for New Zealanders.

John’s staunch advocacy for helping people into work, ending family violence and supporting young people to achieve their aspirations shows his commitment to putting people and their needs first.

In a life-long people-focused career, John has also been called to lead and serve New Zealanders through some of our biggest natural disasters and tragedies in recent times.

As the Canterbury-based senior leader at the Ministry of Social Development, John contributed to social support and recovery efforts for the people of Canterbury after the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes.

He was unflagging in his efforts to make sure people got the services they needed after the Pike River tragedy, the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and displayed exceptional fortitude in the aftermath of the Ashburton shootings as he led the response to this unprecedented event. Today, John is the senior regional recovery officer leading the government’s response to meet the social development needs of Muslim families affected by the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings.

John’s calm, people-centred leadership and absolute commitment to doing the best he can for New Zealanders makes him a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.

Maree Hayes

Mrs Maree Hayes
Court Services Manager – Criminal
Ministry of Justice

Every day, for 43 years, Maree has been putting people first.

As an Invercargill High and District Courts employee, she’s been making sure justice is accessible and everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Maree is a highly regarded Invercargill Court Services manager who has gained a well-deserved reputation for exceptional customer service.

Her experience and technical expertise have been an invaluable resource for a range of national projects driven by the Ministry of Justice over the years.

But the spirit of service Maree has extends well beyond the workplace. For example, she was instrumental in bringing an educational initiative targeting young people and repeat offenders with serious driving offences to Southland. She was a member of the foundation committee for this programme: The Right Track – Te Ara Tutuki Pai. And part of her commitment resulted in Maree volunteering her evenings and weekends to work directly with offenders to help make a positive impact in their lives.

Maree’s dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for the people in her community makes her a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.

Craig Trotter

Dr Craig Trotter
Principal Adviser
Ministry for Primary Industries.

Craig is passionate about developing evidence-based policy to advise decision makers on addressing climate change for the benefit of future generations of New Zealanders. He has made a significant contribution to solving the difficult challenges associated with meeting New Zealand’s obligations to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.

Throughout his Public Service career, Craig has been committed to building our understanding of climate change to support effective policy decision making. Consistent with his interest in sustainability, Craig has been generous in sharing his wisdom to develop the next generation of leaders who will in time become the custodians of our environment systems and advisors to future Governments.

The tremendous integrity and pride Craig brings to his work and the professionalism in the way he works has enabled his spirit of service to shine. While he doesn’t seek the limelight, Craig’s remarkable knowledge and dedication towards addressing climate change have helped New Zealand to pursue its sustainable development goals.

Craig’s unassuming dedication and commitment to quality policy advice makes him a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.

Diane Fenika

Mrs Diane Fenika
Director, Regional Partnerships Southern
Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Diane understands that building enduring relationships with communities relies on earning trust and respect. For her, every day brings new opportunities to do this in her work with South Island Pacific communities.

Diane has outstanding engagement skills, sharpened in her 19 years of proud service in the public sector. These skills draw on her ability to enable dynamic conversations in a way that reflects the many different perspectives Pacific communities have to share – people’s stories, experiences and views.

She works tirelessly to make sure these stories are heard and seen in the design and implementation of community programmes affecting Pacific people.

She’s passionate about her work, in particular, supporting the development of young Pacific leaders, where she is known for creating a safe space for Pacific voices to be nurtured and heard.

For demonstrating an exceptional spirit of service to her community, Diane is a worthy recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.


Mrs Mabel Flight
Residential Manager, Tongariro Prison
Department of Corrections

Mabel ‘walks the talk’ and is an exemplar of frontline excellence through her unfailing motivation to make a difference for the people in Corrections’ care. Mabel works with compassion and dedication, delivering kaupapa Māori values. As a result, she is the ‘go to’ person at Tongariro Prison for anyone who wants to better understand a taha Māori approach. She is also a valuable ‘go to’ person for the rest of the organisation, as she brings the experience and learnings from Tongariro Prison to many national Corrections forums.

Mabel’s colleagues describe her as a superstar who exemplifies the spirit of service to Māori and non-Māori alike. She conducts herself with humility and integrity and a genuine belief in the role of the Public Service to help bring about safer communities for future generations.

For consistently delivering with heart, Mabel is a deserving recipient of the New Zealand Public Service Medal.


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Te Tohu Amorangi a Te Kawa Mataaho
State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence

Luke Stenner

Mr Luke Stenner
Adviser, Te Pae Māpuna
Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Luke understands the importance of taonga tūturu to iwi and the impact of reconnecting these taonga with their traditional owners.

Luke’s spirit of service can be seen in the exceptional care and commitment he shows as he acts as a mediator or translator between government and heritage professionals, iwi and New Zealanders.

Luke connects New Zealanders with the significance of the taonga they find, ensures these treasures are cared for while under Crown ownership and helps unite tangata whenua with taonga lost or left through history.

His higher purpose shines through his work to reconnect iwi with their taonga, enabling them to preserve and carry forward their living histories. He does this with thoughtful care, empathy and skill.

For his dedication to helping protect and preserve our heritage for future generations, Luke is a deserving recipient of this commendation.


Miss Brittnee O’Brien
National Limited Service Volunteer Coordinator
Ministry of Social Development

Brittnee has a strong belief in the value of young people.

She puts this belief into practice every day, helping 400 young people each year through the motivational Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course which aims to increase the confidence, motivation and initiative of young people entering the workforce or going into training.

This isn’t a nine-to-five job for Brittnee. She works in her evenings and weekends getting to know the young people so she can find the right employment opportunities for them. She was there when a probation officer called looking for help for a young man headed for prison. She took responsibility for him, got him on an LSV course and supported him through to graduation. That young man now has very different prospects, thanks to Brittnee, her belief in him, and her hard work.

Brittnee builds and maintains relationships with employers, encouraging them to give young people a chance. In the last year, she’s helped place young people in the Police, Defence, hospitals, hotels, call centres, the construction industry, security and within traffic management roles.

For her leadership and creating an environment where employers and young people themselves begin to see positive future possibilities, Brittnee is a deserving recipient of this commendation.


Mr Maxwell Broadfoot
Custom Service Liaison Officer
New Zealand Customs Service

Max is saving lives and protecting the wellbeing of New Zealanders by safeguarding our borders from overseas.

The spirit of service shines through the professionalism and commitment Max brings to preventing illegal and harmful substances reaching our borders. Max is passionate about protecting New Zealanders from the global drug trade. He has developed vital partnerships with international partners to disrupt drug sources across the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. His work is making a real difference to the volume of these products crossing international borders and reaching New Zealand.

Max is a very collaborative person who does not seek the limelight. For his dedication to serving New Zealand and helping protect our borders and our people, Max is a worthy recipient of this commendation.

Robert Anderson

Mr Robert Anderson
Principal Adviser, Governance and Commercial
Ministry of Transport

The spirit of service is a way of life for Robert.

He works with determination, tenacity, and commitment to improve road safety and protect the lives of New Zealanders.

As lead Crown monitor of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Robert works across government to improve regulations, monitoring, and the quality of policy advice to ministers to make New Zealand roads safer.

Robert puts the safety and security of New Zealanders at the forefront of his work. He is generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with colleagues across the transport sector and navigates sensitive and complex issues with wisdom and humility.

Robert is a worthy recipient of this commendation.

Rochelle Bouteray

Ms Rochelle Bouterey
Customer Compliance Specialist
Inland Revenue

Rochelle believes in Inland Revenue's role as custodians of New Zealand’s tax system and works to ensure that enforcement is fair, efficient, effective, and done for the benefit of New Zealand communities.

Her investigation into suspected multimillion-dollar income suppression by a chain of restaurants ultimately led to one of the most significant prosecution cases undertaken by the Inland Revenue in the past decade.

Throughout all her work, Rochelle is professional, enthusiastic and displays the highest standards of integrity.

Rochelle motivates and inspires not only those she works with, but everyone who meets her.

For her commitment to ensuring New Zealanders have trust and confidence in our tax system, Rochelle is a worthy recipient of this commendation.

 Jacqui Karena & Tiana Timoteo

Ms Tiana Timoteo and Ms Jacqui Karena
Case Managers
Ministry of Social Development

It takes a special type of person to support others through traumatic family circumstances. Tiana and Jacqui are two such people. They work closely together managing Community Link in Courts service at the Auckland District Court and helped establish Community Link in Courts in the Manukau District Court, making it easier for people, families and communities affected by family violence to get the help and support they need. They bring strong cultural understanding to their engagements with Tangata Whenua and Tangata Pacifica.

Both long-serving public servants, Tiana started with the Ministry of Social Development 32 years ago. Jacqui has 29 years of frontline service under her belt.

The real strengths of the Community Link in Courts service are the relationships Tiana and Jacqui have with the Courts including their rapport with the Family Violence Court Judge. They connect people to health providers and parenting programmes, provide support with Family Group Conferences and information about community-based services to support people into work and training opportunities. Jacqui and Tiana also provide a weekly clinic servicing New Zealand Prostitute Collective working with transgender, takatapui and sex workers.

Their insightful, compassionate spirit of service helps people navigate the social support system in a way that takes away fear and uncertainty.

Spirit of service is a way of life for both women: Jacqui and Tiana are both actively involved in their communities.

For outstanding service to some of Auckland’s most vulnerable people and families, Tiana and Jacqui are deserving recipients of this commendation.

Georgie Penni

Mrs Georgina Delamere and Ms Penni Gray
Probation Officers
Department of Corrections

Georgie and Penni are helping create safer communities by supporting New Zealanders living in East Coast areas that historically have been difficult for the Department of Corrections to service.

ko wai rāua? These women embody Te Ao Maori values which they exemplify in their everyday practice with clients from all cultures. They live and breathe the Department of Corrections values of Kaitiaki (guardianship), Manaaki (respect), Rangatira (leadership), Wairua (spirituality) and Whānau (relationships).

The East Coast is a unique coastal area which can be isolating. Every Wednesday Georgie and Penni travel approximately 240 kilometres from Ōpōtiki to Potaka and back. They are on the road for most of the day. On their journey they are engaging, supporting and encouraging the community, whanau, clients and external stakeholders to develop a “korowai o manaaki” (wrap around service of support) to those living in predominantly small Māori communities along the coast.

Working in often isolated circumstances, they rely on their local networks and relationships which they continue to build on and strengthen the relationship for the people. They are flexible and adaptable and get things done.

For their consistent, professional practice and the spirit of service they have shown their communities, Georgie and Penni are well-deserving recipients of this commendation.

Firoza Shaikh

Ms Firoza Shaikh
Assistant Service Centre Manager
Ministry of Social Development

Firoza exemplifies a spirit of service in her positivity, ability to connect with people from all walks of life and the integrity she brings to the way she interacts with people.

Earlier this year after the Christchurch mosque attacks, Firoza stepped away from her substantive, more senior, role in Auckland to support the Muslim community and Ministry of Social Development colleagues providing support after the attacks.

Firoza’s deeply ingrained sense of compassion and empathy, enabled her team to work in new and different ways to make sure the people of Christchurch got the care and support they needed. There is no doubt Firoza made a genuine positive difference in victim’s lives.

Firoza has now returned to Auckland where she continues to serve New Zealanders, as well as supporting those victims and their families who have since moved up to Auckland.

This commendation recognises the exceptional service Firoza provided to the Christchurch community in extraordinary circumstances.

Mr Paul Hondelink

Mr Paul Hondelink
Senior Ranger – Biodiversity
Department of Conservation

Awarded Posthumously at a special memorial service organised by the Department of Conservation on Thursday 9 May 2019

Paul’s 47 years of dedicated service to conservation were underpinned by a spirit of service to protecting New Zealand and New Zealanders. Paul was a pioneer and expert in the preservation of New Zealand mountain lands and a critical contributor to NZ Police Search and Rescue, FENZ fire response, and an active contributor to the Wanaka and Twizel communities.  Paul was renowned for his work in the aerial control of Judas goat and tahr which frequently took him to inhospitable environments and away from home. Tragically, Paul lost his life in the course of his duties in a helicopter crash on Thursday 18 October 2018.

It was his dedication, deep expertise and spirit of service to the protection of New Zealand and New Zealanders that earned Paul this commendation. It is with sadness that this Commendation is awarded posthumously.

Mr Nick Wallis

Mr Nick Wallis
Alpine Helicopters

Awarded Posthumously at a special memorial service organised by the Department of Conservation on Thursday 9 May 2019

Nick’s commitment to conservation and the protection of New Zealand mountain lands was well known to the conservation community. He was a highly regarded member of the DOC extended whanau. Recognised as one of New Zealand’s most skilled helicopter operators for wild animal control, Nick’s passionate dedication to conservation was valued by the Department of Conservation and the rangers who worked with him.  Nick partnered with DOC to develop new ways of aerial wild animal control in the Mackenzie Basin and the Shotover. Tragically, Nick lost his life along with DOC Rangers Scott Theobald and Paul Hondelink in a helicopter crash on Thursday 18 October 2018. 

This commendation is presented to Nick in thanks for the spirit of service he demonstrated in partnering with the Department of Conservation to protect New Zealand mountain areas.  It is with sadness that this Commendation is awarded posthumously.


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