Disability leaders acknowledged in New Year Honours

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People would like to congratulate all those who were recognised for their service to disabled people in the New Year Honours 2023 list. 

“It was encouraging to see a number of disabled people and allies acknowledged and recognised,” says Paula Tesoriero, the Chief Executive of Whaikaha.

“Whaikaha is committed to working alongside disabled people and Tangata Whaikaha Māori to transform and improve the disability system. We want to work together towards a shared vision of New Zealand being a non-disabling society - a place where disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations. 

“We know that we can’t do this alone, so to have people who work hard for our community be celebrated is incredibly important,” says Paula.

Whaikaha would like to congratulate:

Officers (ONZM)

Ms Cindy Johns external URL , of New Plymouth. For services to people with learning disabilities.

Mr Grant Cleland external URL , of Christchurch. For services to disabled people.

Mr Barry Clark, QSM, JP external URL , of Kaiapoi. For services to the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association.

Members (MNZM)

Mr Brian Coffey external URL , of Lower Hutt. For services to people with disabilities.

Mr Corey Peters external URL , of Wanaka. For services to sit-skiing.

Ms Ruth Gerzon external URL , of Whakatāne. For services to community development and social justice.


Queen Service Medal (QSM)

Mr Matthew Frost (Matt) external URL , of Wellington. For services to people with autism.

A full list of recipients is available here:

New Year Honours List 2023 | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) external URL