NZSA members receive New Year’s Kings Honours

We congratulate the four NZSA members who have received Kings Honours:
David Hill, Susan Battye, Harriet Allan and Jodi Wright.


We also acknowledge and congratulate Pacific journalist Barbara Dreaver and Hana O’Regan. Barbara Dreaver has been a publisher of Pacific Books (Cook Islands Press) and Hana O’Regan has supported NZSA in the Canterbury region, especially the Heritage Book Awards.

To be a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

HILL, Mr Clive David (David), MNZM, NZSA member

For services to literature, particularly children’s literature

Mr David Hill is an educator, reviewer, and writer and is regarded as a part of the backbone of New Zealand’s children’s literature.

Mr Hill has published more than 50 books over four decades, with 18 published since 2004. His works have been translated for international audiences including France and China, and he has received numerous literature awards. He has had two books listed on the International Youth Library White Ravens list, which highlights books deserving of international recognition for universal themes and/or innovative literary design. He is a current member of the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Kaumatua Tomata advisory group to the NZSA President, having been a Society member for more than 50 years. He is regularly a mentor and assessor for NZSA’s programmes for emerging writers. He has engaged with thousands of Children through organisations such as Read NZ and Storylines and writers-in-schools programmes across New Zealand. He has advocated for further support for children’s writers and book awards, highlighting disparity of income and prize packages between children’s and adult’s literature in annual awards, and more broadly highlighting issues around lending rights and compensation for broadcast adaptations affecting the income of professional writers. Mr Hill is respected as a reviewer of adult literature, columnist and guest speaker at writer’s festivals.


To be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

BATTYE, Ms Susan, NZSA member, Former NZSA Vice-President

For services to performing arts education

Ms Susan Battye is a playwright and educationalist who has contributed to the development of performing arts education in New Zealand and internationally.

Ms Battye was a founding member and is former President of Drama New Zealand, serving on the Executive Council for more than 25 years. From 1983 to 2004 she was Head of Drama at Epsom Girls Grammar School, encouraging and nurturing a love of creativity and performance in her students. She has written more than 20 play scripts for use in schools and developed several written resources and delivered workshops to support teachers and aid students’ understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in a performing arts context. She was Programme Manager for the Bachelor of Māori Performing Arts at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. For more than 20 years she served on the General Council of the International Drama Theatre and Education Association, holding several roles including Secretary. From 2018 to 2022 she served on the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Board as Vice President. She was a founding member of Women in Film and Television and a member of the New Zealand Writers Guild and Playwrights Association. Ms Battye remains an active member of Drama New Zealand and has been a Life Member since 2012.


To be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

WRIGHT, Ms Jodi Ann, NZSA member

For services to the arts

Ms Jodi Wright has made a significant contribution to Christchurch’s literary and performing arts scene for more than 30 years.

Ms Wright has directed several large scale cultural and literary events, bringing cultural creativity to the city. Her events have actively engaged professional international artists, performers and musicians and provided emerging young talent the opportunity to showcase Christchurch’s arts scene on the global stage. From 1993 to 1999 she was the Artistic Director for the Festival of Romance, later directing the Southland Buskers Festival and the Sidewalk Art Project. For two decades she was the director of the World Buskers Festival, bringing unique and diverse performers to Christchurch’s streets. In 1997 she co-founded WORD Christchurch (formerly Books and Beyond), a writers’ festival hosting literary events and workshops providing the opportunity for audiences to engage with international authors. She organised and directed the event for eight years. Following the Christchurch earthquakes, she was involved in several projects to revitalise the city’s art scene including the Christchurch – Seattle Sister City Committee and Life in Vacant Spaces. She has worked as an events advisor for many organisations, including the Arts Centre of Christchurch and Christchurch City Council. Ms Wright has been the Director of the International Jazz and Blues Festival since 1998.


To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

ALLAN, Ms Harriet Bennett, NZSA member

For services to the publishing industry

Ms Harriet Allan has worked as a publisher championing New Zealand literature and many of the country’s most recognised writers in a career spanning 35 years.

Ms Allan studied English Literature and Language at the University of Edinburgh before emigrating to New Zealand in 1986. She worked for a medical publisher, then Oxford University Press before joining Century Hutchinson in 1989, which later became Random House and subsequently Penguin Random House. She has dedicated her career to the publishing industry, developing and nurturing numerous New Zealand writers including Dame Fiona Kidman, Owen Marshall and Fiona Farrell, and supporting Māori writing including working with Patricia Grace and Tina Makereti. Since 2009 she has worked with Witi Ihimaera, publishing several of his works, including his memoirs, adult fiction, the non-fiction work ‘Navigating the Stars’ and his children’s book ‘The Astromancer’. In 2017 she championed the publication of ‘Black Marks on the White Page’, an Oceanic anthology edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, and followed it with several other significant anthologies of Māori writing, including ‘Pūrākau’. Dozens of the writers she has supported have been recognised with national and international literary awards. Ms Allan supports new writers through mentoring, giving talks and involvement in the Sunday Star Times short story competition and the Michael King Writers Centre.


To be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit:

O’REGAN, Dr Hana Merenea

For services to education

Dr Hana O’Regan (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha) has been contributing to the revitalisation of Te Reo Māori and education for 30 years.

Dr O’Regan has held positions at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu as Manager of the Māori language unit, General Manager of Oraka – Wellbeing, and was one of the founders of her tribe’s language revitalisation strategy, Kotahu Mano Kāika. She worked at Ara – Te Pūkenga for 14 years, first as a lecturer and Head of Māori Department, and later in the role of Director of Māori and Pacific and Student Services. During this time, she helped lead the establishment of Māori and Pacific Trade Training following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. She was a lecturer at the University of Otago and was a member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s Māori Advisory Board, where she shared her knowledge on identifying and addressing inequities in education. She has been the CEO of Tātai Aho Rau – Core Education since 2020, and has helped to drive the campaign alongside iwi and key education agencies to remove the practice of streaming in education in New Zealand. Dr O’Regan was a New Zealand Fellow of the International Centre of Language Revitalisation and member of the Mātauranga Iwi Leaders Group for the National Iwi Leaders Chairs Forum.


DREAVER, Ms Barbara Helen

For services to investigative journalism and Pacific communities

Ms Barbara Dreaver is an award-winning investigative journalist who has dedicated her career to highlighting issues affecting Pacific communities for more than 30 years.

Ms Dreaver was co-owner of the Cook Islands Press from 1994 to 1998, before working for the New Zealand Listener and Radio New Zealand as a feature writer and reporter. She has been the Pacific Reporter for TVNZ 1 News since 2002, breaking stories uncovering social and economic issues affecting Pacific people living in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Her investigative journalism has exposed major fraud, drug smuggling, corruption and human trafficking, leading to multiple arrests and decisive government action. Her reporting of the 2019 Samoa measles outbreak won two major awards at New Zealand’s Voyager Media Awards. Domestically, her stories focus on advocating for vulnerable and marginalised Pacific communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she self-produced daily regional Pacific bulletins for distribution in the islands and exposed the inequalities experienced by Pacific people during the response, resulting in changes in governmental policy and partnerships with Pasifika providers. In 2020, she created a two-year training programme through the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Ltd to support new Pacific journalists across the Pacific region. Ms Dreaver was appointed as a member of the Establishment Board for the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media body in 2022.

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