Creative Artists of Aotearoa Honoured

Sir Derek Lardelli.
Taika Waititi.
Tusiata Avia.
Check out which members of NZ's creative community have been singled out for their incredible contribution in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.


Arise Sir Derek.

One of Aotearoa’s most passionate toi practitioners has been acknowledged and celebrated at the top of the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Professor Derek Lardelli has been honoured with a knighthood for services to Māori arts, one of just two knights and three dames given the accolade today.  

Sir Derek is an artist of many disciplines; a tā moko artist, composer, carver, kapa haka performer, visual artist and graphic designer- to name but a few of the artforms in which he excels.  He is Ahorangi at Toihoukura, School of Visual Arts Māori, in Gisborne and has been prominent in promoting Māori arts nationally and internationally. His artwork is found in national and international institutions, public buildings and private collections. He was featured recently here on The Big Idea in Creative New Zealand’s Thankful for Art Campaign (#TFA).

He’s far from alone for the country’s creatives - from the big screen with Taika Waititi, the small screen with Outrageous Fortune creator James Griffin, poetry via Tusiata Avia or sculpture through Judith Darragh, many in the arts community have been recognised for their contribution for what makes this country so special. 

Huge congratulations from The Big Idea to all those honoured today for their special contributions to the arts in New Zealand.  

Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)

Dr Tessa Duder: For services to literature

Elizabeth Knox: For services to literature

Taika Waititi.

Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

Taika Waititi: For services to film

Judith Darragh: For services to the arts

James Griffin: For services to the television and film industries

David Ling: For services to the publishing industry

Thomas Rainey: For services to music and music education

James Tomlin: For services to art education

Dr Brian Turner: For services to literature and poetry

Judy Darragh.

Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Tusiata Avia: For services to poetry and the arts

Georgina Beyer: For services to LGBTIQA+ rights

John Buchanan: For services to music

Iosefa Enari: For services to Pacific dance

Dr Maureen Lander: For services to Māori art

Donald Long: For services to literature and Pacific language education

Naomi McCleary: For services to the arts

Dr Cilla McQueen: For services as a poet

Kiri Nathan: For services to Māori and the fashion industry

Richard Rudd: For services to ceramic art.

Joan Whittaker: For services to heritage preservation and music education

Lloyd Whittaker: For services to heritage preservation and music education

Maria Winder: For services to music education

Tusiata Avia.

Queen's Service Medal (QSM)

Agnes Anderson: For services to choral music

Dawn Elliott: For services to art education

Audrey Gray: For services to choral music

Ella Hanify: For services to music

Christopher Marshall: For services to music

Molima Pihigia: For services to Niuean art and the community

Lynn Smith: For services to dance education

For a more in-depth list - click here.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

1 Jun 2020

The Big Idea Editor

It's the Lowdown bite-sized edition, with your arts news bulletin broken down to look at some of the milestones and moments that deserve the spotlight.
Using his Samoan heritage, one recent AUT graduate has found his drive to make the intangible come to life.
Simply put, the role of artists and designers is to make the world a better place, writes Dr Andrew Withell, Head of Art and Design at AUT.
So many grassroot NZ creatives went the extra mile when the nation was in need of a morale boost during the pandemic's darkest days - it's time to celebrate them.