National | Community

Kaitaia woman announces own Queen's Service Honours

Kaitaia born and bred, Naomi Austin-Reid has taken the Queen's Birthday Honours into her own hands and delivered her own awards to people for their contribution to the community of Kaitaia.

It is part of a wider social media project called #ILoveKaitaia an attempt to give her hometown of Kaitaia more positive publicity.

Naomi Austin-Reid says, "It's definitely not about walking around with rose tinted glasses, you know like any community we have our issues but they're not going to be solved unless we do something together as a team, so that was the biggest thing, it was about taking a bit of pride in ourselves as well."

John Windleborn is acknowledged for many years of service to Paparore school, Sandra and Chris Henare for their Kapa Haka contribution, Gloria Harrison for more than 25 years of dedication to local netball and Ashley Waitai-Dye for mentoring youth.

But a stand out for Naomi is Lois Strong who is a volunteer at the local Hospice cooking lunches for nurses and on top of that is involved in many fundraising events.

"There are heaps of people who have done awesome things and I suppose they don't get any recognition or acknowledgement and I opened it up and I said hey let's nominate some people in our community who do some amazing things."

Austin-Reid says her work through #ILoveKaitaia is an everlasting project and already she has something up her sleeve for Matariki celebrations.