Queen's Birthday Honours: Hidden gems of the list

The Queen's Birthday Honours list was released on Monday, celebrating great Kiwis from all walks of life.

Among the 186 recipients, which include business personalities, are some hidden gems who are working away to make a difference in their community or chosen charity.

Here are some of the local heroes being recognised.

Dawn White beside her knitted and crocheted poppies.
Dawn White beside her knitted and crocheted poppies. Photo credit: Facebook / Waihi Beach RSA

Dawn White

Dawn White is an active member of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA) and in 2015 added a personal touch to Anzac Day, knitting and crocheting 500 poppies.

During this role, Ms White has previously travelled up to 900km a week taking RSA members to and from hospital appointments with no compensation.

Claire Reilly (right), at Walks 2 D'Feet MND.
Claire Reilly (right), at Walks 2 D'Feet MND. Photo credit: Newshub.

Claire Reilly

Dr Claire Reilly's life changed forever when she was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) at age 34.

MND is a terminal degenerative neurological disease for which there is no cure, causing loss of control in the body. Dr Reilly was wheelchair-bound after six months and was given three years to live.

But Dr Reilly didn't let this stop her, turning the personal tragedy into a national awareness and fundraising campaign for the disease.

In 2015 she organised Walks 2 D'Feet MND, a walk held in six main centres around the country, raising $75,000.

Half of that money was used to establish the MND New Zealand Research Fund.

Railene Mabin
Railene Mabin. Photo credit: supplied

Railene Mabin

Railene Mabin started her 45-year-long involvement with Plunket by selling bunches of daffodils at her gate.

This grew into selling bunches at service stations, and eventually into the Spring Festival at Taniwha station, at which people are able to come and pick their own daffodils and donate to Plunket.

Over the past 25 years her efforts have resulted in more than $250,000 being raised for the organisation.

Jackie Grinder (centre) surrounded by dressed-up teddy bears.
Jackie Grinder (centre) surrounded by dressed-up teddy bears. Photo credit: Waikato District Health Board

Jackie Grinder

For nearly a decade Jackie Grinder has volunteered her time to sew clothes and dress 700 teddy bears for long-stay children at Waikato Hospital and Ronald McDonald House in Auckland.

Ms Grinder also sews book bags, which are filled with stationery, books and games and given to sick children for activities during their time in hospital.

Rod Sutherland with his wife, who suffers from Parkinson's disease.
Rod Sutherland with his wife, who suffers from Parkinson's disease. Photo credit: supplied

Rod Sutherland

Rod Sutherland helped instigate and helped organise the Pedal for Parkinson's bike ride as part of the Huri Huri cycling event.

Mr Sutherland goes a step further by tandem cycling with locals with disabilities such as Parkinson's and blindness, to help them stay fit and enter bike competitions.

He is an active member of Parkinson's Wairarapa and has been the organiser of the annual Parkinson's Awareness Week for the past seven years.

Volunteers working for Kerry Bensemann's Trust.
Volunteers working for Kerry Bensemann's Trust. Photo credit: Facebook / 0800hungry.org

Kerry Bensemann

Kerry Bensemann established the 0800 Hungry Ministries Trust in 2001, a non-profit organisation with the idea of giving people a "hand up" as opposed to a "hand-out".

It sources spare food from industrial companies, such as Kellogg's and Tip Top, to give to people in need around Christchurch.

Mr Bensemann personally answers the free 0800 number himself.

Charmaine Donaldson

Since 2004 Charmaine Donaldson has run weekly exercise classes at the Matamata Heart Fit group for senior citizens.

She volunteers her time for free, motivated by the desire to help older people stay fit and healthy.

Funds raised by the heart fit programme support the Heart Trust, which gives people in the Midland Health Region access to heart treatment services.