Congratulations to Joy Cowley, who has received the country’s top honour in the 2018 New Year Honours list! Joy Cowley has been an active and supportive member of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) since joining in 1966. We are thrilled to see her outstanding service to literature and literacy in New Zealand recognised in this way.
The 81-year-old heads the list of 179 New Zealanders named this year, and is the only person to be made a member of the Order of New Zealand.
The Order of New Zealand [ONZ] recognises outstanding service to the State and people of the country.
Ms Cowley, also known as (Mrs) Joy Coles, DCNZM, OBE, has been recognised once more for her work as a novelist, children’s author and for her achievements in helping young people learn through reading.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Joy Cowley’s contribution to literature and literacy was treasured in New Zealand and internationally.
“She has brought delight to many young New Zealanders, as well to those who read her books to them. Her work demonstrates the wonderful opportunity authors have to not only engage and inspire, but to educate.”
Ms Ardern, who is also Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, said New Zealanders’ expertise and love for the arts in Aotearoa was reflected in this year’s list, with the number of honours awarded for arts and culture second only to contributions to community, voluntary and local services.
Ms Cowley said she was honoured to receive the award.
“This comes from New Zealand – it doesn’t come from any other tradition and it doesn’t have a title. Anything that separates me from other people, I don’t feel comfortable with, and this is a ‘belonging’.”
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