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Rugby league legend, screenwriter among Kiwis recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Screenwriter Fran Walsh, playwright Roger Hall and league legend Graham Lowe are among those being recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

In total, there are four new Dames and three Knights in the 2019 list.

Oscar-winning screenwriter, film producer and musician Fran Walsh becomes a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film.

Dame Fran has collaborated with partner Sir Peter Jackson since 1989’s Meet the Feebles, including on Oscar-nominated Heavenly Creatures, and shared three Oscar wins for her work on the final episode of Lord of the Rings.

She has also worked on several projects outside her partnership with Sir Peter, and helped secure the future of Wellington’s BATS Theatre.

Dr Sue Bagshaw becomes a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to youth health.

Dame Sue has spent three decades working in youth health, and is currently a senior lecturer in paediatrics at the University of Otago in Christchurch.

She has set up a number of clinics and health centres, and helped form a youth hub following the Christchurch earthquakes.

The late Yvette Corlett becomes a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit,an honour that Her Majesty approved before her death in April.

Dame Yvette was New Zealand’s first female Olympic gold medal winner, winning the long jump at Helsinki in 1952.

She has been honoured for services to athletics.

Areta Koopu becomes a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community.

Dame Areta has more than 30 years’ experience in social services, both in a paid and voluntary capacity.

A former national president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, and a Human Rights commissioner, she also served on numerous Māori boards, and as a marriage and Family Court counsellor.

Playwright Roger Hall becomes a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre.

Sir Roger is a leading playwright with a strong international profile and who played a key role in the development of New Zealand drama.

Sir Roger was founder and co-organiser of the inaugural New Zealand Theatre Month, launched in September 2018.

He has served on numerous boards, including Fortune Theatre, Frank Sargeson Trust, New Zealand Literary Fund Advisory Committee, and Governor of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand from 2002 to 2010.

As well as plays, he has written extensively for television including one-off plays and more than seventy sitcom episodes in New Zealand and in the United Kingdom.

Paul Hunter becomes a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to philanthropy and the community.

Sir Paul is the Patron of IHC Bay of Plenty and Te Tuinga Whanau Support Trust. In 2015 he became Patron of Waipuna Hospice, Tauranga, following 12 years as a Trustee.

As Chairman of Accessible Properties, IHC's social housing arm, he has overseen a broadening of focus to cater for people who qualify for the Governments income related rent subsidy programme.

Graham Lowe becomes a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to youth and education.

A former Kiwis, Queensland, Wigan and Manly coach, Sir Graham has a distinguished rugby league coaching career.

His charity, The Lowie Foundation, delivers a programme for teenagers struggling with school or looking for a vocational pathway to employment.

He has also developed a course for young men that has run in prisons.

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The rugby league great received the honour of Knight Companion for services to youth and education. Source: 1 NEWS


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