Great Kiwis acknowledged in Queen's Birthday Honours

Breakfast 04/06/2018

The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit:

Simon William (Bill) English, for services to the state

Image: Getty.

Former Prime Minister Bill English has been made a Sir in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Sir English is especially pleased by the honour because it recognises his wife Mary as well.

“Her resilience and strength is what made my public career possible.”

It’ll be ‘Sir William’ on formal occasions but as far as the honorific goes, he hopes that people will continue to call him ‘Bill’.

Sir Bill acknowledges that being Prime Minister of New Zealand was the biggest privilege in his career, but he also got enormous satisfaction on his work on policies.

Lynda Bethridge Topp, for services to entertainment

Image: Getty.

New Zealand’s favourite entertainers Jools and Lynda, the Topp Twins, have been appointed Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Dame Lynda said that “the rebels are finally getting their medals.”

Both Jules and Lynda decided to accept the award because it recognises far more than just their entertainment careers but also their work standing with other New Zealanders on protest movements including the nuclear free movement and the homosexual law reform bill.

Dame Lynda said that "the honour for us is just to be accepted by New Zealand".

With an incredible career under her belt Dame Lynda says that for her the highlight of her career is the live shows which are still on-going; The Topp Twins performed for their 60th birthday just last week.

John Edward Rowles, for services to entertainment

Image: Getty.

It’s been almost 40 years since his OBE for services to the music industry, but John Rowles has been extremely active since then and has now been recognised for services to entertainment in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Sir John says that the knighthood means a lot to him.

“It’s kind of consummated my life really in my journey, in my lifetime. It makes me feel very proud.”

From humble roots in Kawerau, Sir John puts the credit for his success in the music industry to self-indulgence, self-belief, and confidence.

“I attribute it to just sheer determination.”

Paul Frederic Gordon Dewsbery, for services to the community

72-year-old Paul Dewsbury is the only South Canterbury recipient in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours, hailing from Timaru. He has been recognised for his services to the community over the past 40 years.

Speaking humbly to Richard Green, Mr Dewsbury said “it’s quite an honour, and it does sit a little uncomfortable with me, but I guess I’ll get used to that.”

He contributed the recognition to the groups of people and organisations that he has worked for, but says that the 95 homes built in the Mountain View Village Trust is the achievement he considers as the biggest success.

Click here for the full list of Honours recipients.

Listen to the full interviews above.

Richard Green, in for The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone..