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Politician, gossip columnist and AB honoured by Queen

Monday 6 Jun 2011 5:38 p.m.

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By Kim Chisnall

A total of 169 New Zealanders have been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list for their achievements in everything from sport to entertainment.

But it is those who have devoted their lives to helping others who received the highest acknowledgement.

Married to a millionaire, Rosie Horton could have spent her life with the other ladies who lunch.

Instead she has devoted it to charity – she is chairwoman of the Friends of Starship and over 40 years has worked with dozens of charities.

Now a Dame, she says the true reward is what she has discovered about people.

“I think that New Zealanders have an extraordinary generosity of spirit and that comes through when you meet people who work in the not for profit area,” says Dame Horton.

Former All Black John Graham is now Sir John, although the boys of Auckland Grammar probably called him that for years.

The former principal has been recognised for services to sport and education and says his teaching career was a lesson in itself.

“I am authoritarian and I couldn't avoid that so I had to learn compassion to soften that and realise that everyone is different and you can't treat everybody in the same way.”

It is not often we thank our politicians, but John Banks has been made a companion of the Order of Merit.

“You can wait 33 years and 13 elections to get a compliment so it's a long, long time in the wilderness,” says Mr Banks. “But having said that it's very gracious all of this, I never expected it.”

Gossip columnist David Hartnell has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to entertainment.

Hartnell is “chuffed” and wants to thank whoever nominated him.

“If I could find out who it was I might buy them a cocktail or two but I don't know at this point.

"I’m a good gossip columnist so I’ll get to the bottom of that.”

To view the full list of recipients, click here.

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