Six local figures were recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.
Olympian and World Champion shot-putter Valerie Adams was made a Dame. Triathlete Cameron Brown, health services proponent Ranjna Patel, and shareholders’ advocate Bruce Sheppard were appointed Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit, while former hockey international Katie Glynn and table tennis champion Chunli Li were made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The Times will publish a profile of each recipient and feature a short Q&A over the coming weeks.
Katie Glynn was awarded the MNZM for her service to hockey.
The 27-year-old was selected into the Blacksticks NZ women’s hockey team in 2009. She went on to collect 134 international caps and score 77 international goals, making her one of the highest female goal scorers in the history of New Zealand hockey.
She spent a lot of time in East Auckland playing hockey at Lloyd Elsmore Park as a child, and now resides in Mellons Bay, where she has lived for the past year.
The Times asked her five questions this week.
Q. Who was the first person you told about receiving this honour and why them?
A. The first people I told were my mum and dad. My mum was my coach for many years growing up and played a huge part in helping me achieve what I have done so far. Mum and Dad both supported me a lot over my playing years, and they continue to support me now with all of my coaching, so I wanted to share this with them.
Q. What does the MNZM mean to you?
A. It is a huge honour. To be recognised at this level amongst some amazing New Zealanders is something I could only dream of.
Q. Does receiving this award change anything for you; does it push you to strive for more?
A. My life has changed a bit since having to retire through injury, now my goals are to coach and inspire young kids, and help them to achieve their dreams. I am extremely honoured and humbled to be recognised, but I do what I do because I love it, and I will continue on.
Q. How did you celebrate the announcement?
A. I was lucky enough to have all of my close friends and family with me on New Year’s Eve over at Waiheke Island when it was announced. We had a toast with some Moet and it was really special to be able to share the moment with all the people who have supported me so much throughout my career.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and how did you follow it/take it on board?
A. If you have a dream, and you work hard enough, anything is possible. I used to spend hours in the backyard every day after school playing with my brother. I wanted to master every skill and get better and better. This continued on as I grew up – I knew where I wanted to go, and I was prepared to do whatever it took to get there.