Fourteen Pacific people have been called on the New Year Honors list for their services to New Zealand's community.
They have been honored for their work in the arts, sports, health, LGBTIQ community and for women.
Mele Wendt, Salamina Leolahi, Karlo Mila, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Derek Teariki and Pauli Maeu have been recognized for their work in New Zealand's Pacific community.
Reverends Penetekoso Togiatama and Tauinaola Tofilau were also named after their joint work.
Vaine Arai Areora and Luisa Avaiki are on the list for sports services, while Tukua Turia and Tanu Gago are there for the art. Mr Gago is also known for his work with the LGBTIQ community.
Arbutus Mitikulena and Vic Tamati have been recognized for their work in health and anti-violence campaigns.
Lieutenant Commander Joseph Tupuola Peterson has been awarded the Distinguished Service Decoration.
"I think it was a letter or something that came last week, but I don't even know. Maybe that's what you're talking about?"
It was the answer to the 74-year-old Tukua Turia after being congratulated by RNZ Pacific for making the New Year's listing.
Cook Island Heritage Artist, who has joined the New Zealand Order of Merit, admitted she had no idea what the list was then contacted for an interview.
She is an expert on Cook Island's traditional quilt-making art Tivaivai, and is honored for her services to Cook Island's art and culture.
"Hi gosh man!" She giggled as she listened to the notes that her work was being read to her over the phone.
The notes explained Ms Turia's recognition as a "young Tivaivai", an expert in Tivaivai, an increasingly rare title.
Several of her pieces have been collected by New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, and she has also provided artwork for ANZAC ceremonies.
Mr Turia is routinely commissioned by the Cook Islands Consulate to create gifts for dignitaries, and some of her works have been gifted to New Zealand government officials.
And at the top of the many community workshops she ran, this year, Kuki & # 39; led Airani Creative Mamas, a group of Cook Island women based in Mangere, who collaborated with fashion designer Karen Walker.
Mama's all worked on a dress, combined Cook Island tivaivai and modern fashion, which was featured at the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition in Buckingham Palace as well as public exhibitions in London.
But because of her old age, she said she had forgotten much of the work she had done.
"Oh the Anzac de!" She remembered laughing, "I just forgot.
"You know, I like to give, but I would never expect anything back like this. There are many things I did that I never remember. But I never expected such things to happen," she added, referring to the New Year Honors list.
"This thing – what is this? Was it a price? Or … But anyway, you know, I don't understand what it is."
Having had the honor list's meaning explained to her, she reacted with entertainment.
"Oh, is it QSM?" Oh! Because I heard people say QSM, I thought, "Oh, what's that?" You know, some people show up with all these things.
"No, there is nothing for me! You know, there are things you do to help people, to help the one who is needed."
While Cook Island's grandmother appreciated the recognition, she said she was focused on doing the job she loved, which kept her busy.
Sitting on the sewing machine, which made the pillow cover for an upcoming wedding, Turia admitted that she was surprised at the interest in her work.
"Yes, I am surprised that people are interested and supported by the work I do. Really – the counsel and the leaders and the whole people were so helpful.
"They give me the resources of Mamas – such as materials, cotton, scissors, machine, iron, steamer – all I need to teach, the council has given them."
And behind that was all desire to convey her skills to the next generation, Turia said.
"That's what I'm trying to do now – to teach those who wanted to learn and especially our young generation. So we can convey the knowledge of our culture.
"They can continue when we are away, they are the new ones who can teach the young people who come up. I just learn and never say no to anyone.
"It's my goal, that's the main purpose. But not to get something like that – what you're talking about. But still, that's fine."
The 14 Pacific people named on the New Year's Honors list are:
ONZM – Officers of the said order
Dr. Selina Tusitala Marsh – for services to poetry, literature and the Pacific community
MNZM – Members of said order
Vaine Arai Areora – for services to Cook Islands society and sports
Luisa Avaiki – for rugby league services
Tanu Daniel Gago – for services for art and the LGBTIQ + community
Dr. Karlo Estelle Mila – for services to the Pacific and as poets
Dr. Arbutus Mitikulena – for health and Pacific services
Mele Luisa Wendt – for services for governance, the Pacific and women
QSM – The Queen's Service Medal
Salamina Kaliatama Leolahi – for services to the Niuean community
Pauli Hifo Ma – for services to the Pacific community
Derek Teariki – for services to the Cook Islands community
Reverend Tauinaola Tofilau – for services to the Pacific community
Reverend Penetekoso Togiatama – for services to the Niuean community
DSD – The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
Lieutenant Commander Jan Joseph Tupuola Peterson – For New Zealand Defense Force Services