Aunty Wai Mason Three men and one woman have been awarded Life Memberships of the NZ AIDS Foundation to acknowledge their "outstanding contributions to the Foundation’s Mission/Koromakinga." Michael Bancroft JP, Kevin Hague MP, Tony Hughes QSM and Aunty Wai Mason are this year's recipients. Aunty Wai Mason had been made aware that she was to receive the award but passed away ten days ago before she could be formally presented with it. She had been involved in the NZAF's work with takataapui for two decades and in more recent times was the organisation's kaumatua. Michael Bancroft Michael Bancroft was the long-time convenor of the HIV Memorial Quilt Project and since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the mid-1980s helped provide support for those affected by the disease. In that time he officiated at many dozens of at times emotionally-fraught funerals of those who died as a result of their infection. Tony Hughes was the first employee of the NZAF, and in his nearly three decades with the organisation has been the core of it's strategic and research functions, to the point that he is sometimes half-jokingly referred to as the NZAF's 'Yoda' after the all-seeing, all-wise character in the Star Wars' movies. He has a reputation for fearless intellectual rigour and was one of those behind the original setting up of the NZAF. Tony Hughes Kevin Hague was another early NZAF employee. When he rose to become Executive Director his melding of bureaucratic and political skills, evident at the height of the epidemic, held him in good stead. He went on to head up the West Coast District Health Board and then entered Parliament as a Greens MP. "NZAF Life Memberships are awarded to exceptional individuals who have positively enhanced and substantially contributed, over a significant period of time, to the NZAF Mission/Koromakinga which is to prevent the transmission of HIV and to support people affected by HIV and AIDS to maximise their health and wellbeing," says a spokesperson for the NZAF Trust Board. Kevin Hague The Life Membership will be presented by the NZAF's Patron, the Governor-General of New Zealand Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House Auckland on November 28th, preceding World AIDS Day, December 1st.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 10th October 2013 - 3:50pm
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