Minister of Disability Issues, Hon Tariana Turia, has commended the persons with disabilities honoured in the Queens Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours for 2012.
“Gary Williams from Christchurch (MNZM) was a dedicated CE of Disabled Persons Assembly for eleven years, and has been on the Access Ability Board since 2010. One of his most important legacies was in the development of the United Nations Convention on the rights of disabled persons.
“Out of 192 countries, New Zealand was one of only four countries that made specific reference to indigenous disabled persons in the first formal statement on the Convention – a large part of that can be attributed to Gary. Gary always makes a considered contribution to any discussion – I am so proud that his skills have been recognised".
“It is pleasing to see that the service and support provided to people who are deaf and hearing impaired is being acknowledged in the awards of the Queens Service Medal for Karen Pointon (Lower Hutt) and Hemi Hema (Hamilton). Both Karen and Hemi have been involved with Deaf Association –Deaf Aotearoa for many years, as well as assisting other groups to increasing accessibility for Deaf peoples, including Hemi’s role with the New Zealand Polynesian Deaf Rugby Union”.
“Other disabled persons honoured in the Queens Birthday List with a Queens Service Medal included Rainus Baker from Whakatane for services to people with an intellectual disability; David Tamatea of Opunake for services to disability support and Māori; and Vicki Wall also from Lower Hutt, for services to people with disabilities”.