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Rock's honour first to be openly glbti-exclusive

Tue 7 Jun 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

The MNZM badge The Queen's Birthday honour given to West Aucklander Cissy Rock appears to be the first New Zealand national honour specifically and exclusively worded as being earned "for services to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities." Past openly glbti people to have received NZ Queen's Birthday or New Year's honours have included Jonathan Smith  who was in 2015 made a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit "For services to people with HIV/AIDS" and Bruce Kilmister who in 2001 received the same honour "for services to the community." Kilmister says his honour was primarily for his work in overseeing the early years of the huge Hero glbti celebration, which was underscored by the then-raging and deadly HIV epidemic, but the formal citation did mention that his work was within the glbti community. Other glbti recipients of national honours over the years have included Jacquie Grant of Hokitika who was made a Member of New Zealand Order of Merit in 1998 primarily for her work fostering children. Last year Tabby Besley of Wellington was awarded a Commonwealth Queen's Young Leader award for her glbti youth community award but that honour was not bestowed by the NZ government. [Editor's note: Our team has checked as much as possible to find any other recipients of Queen's Birthday or New Year's honours specifically and exclusively cited as being for work for the glbti communities. If you do know of any other people thus specifically honoured please contact us at as soon as possible. Although it wasn't our intention to include more than a few representative recipients of honours in the above story readers have suggested we also note that NZAF research director Tony Hughes received a QSM in 2005 for 'services to the community. Health researcher Dr Huhana Hickey received a MNZM last year 'for services to people with disabilities.' Marilyn Waring received a CNZM in 2008 for 'services to women and economics.']    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 7th June 2016 - 11:12am

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