06 June 2017: La’auli Michael Jones and Hamish Crooks named on Queens Birthday Honours List 2017

Yesterday on June 5th 2017, La’auli Michael Jones and Hamish Crooks were acknowledged for their services to the country following the announcement of The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017. La’auli Michael Jones was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit as a Knight Companion (KNZM) for his services to the Pacific community and youth, while Hamish Crooks was appointed as a Member (MNZM) for his services to the Pacific community.

CEO of Pasifika Futures Debbie Sorensen is pleased to see La’auli Michael Jones, a member on the Pasifika Futures Board of Directors and Hamish Crooks, CEO of Pacific Homecare, one of Pasifika Futures core partners receive such honours.

“We are thrilled that both Michael and Hamish have been recognised for the amazing contribution they make to the lives of our Pacific families and communities. In particular, we are pleased that the contribution of Pacific people to New Zealand across many areas is appreciated and acknowledged.”

“We feel very, very lucky to work alongside such outstanding individuals.” Says Sorensen.

Both Jones and Crooks work alongside each other in the Pacific community and together established the Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust, chaired by Jones, which lead to the opening of the Pacific Advance Senior School in 2015. The Schools aim is to provide education pathways for Pasifika students who have struggled to meet learning objectives within mainstream schools.

Jones, widely known for his rugby union abilities and achievements, was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of fame in 2003 and first became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for his services to the Pacific Community. As a trustee of several Pacific organisations, he also chairs the Village Community and Youth Trust established in 2003 and launched the Village Sports Academy in 2010. He continues his work within the Pacific community and is passionate about economic and social development for Pacific people.

“It is humbling to receive such prestigious recognition in the Queen’s honour for the work many of us do day in and day out, quietly but with purpose within our communities of interest.” Says Hamish Crooks, who wanted to acknowledge his friend the Late Frank Stowers as part of his personal ingredients to success which also include faith, fun, family and friends. “It is important that we have some fun along the way and the ability to laugh at ourselves especially when life gets challenging.”

Crooks who is currently CEO of Pacific Homecare and Managing Director of 4PM group, continues his work focusing on Pacific community and economic development. Serving the Pacific community for over 30 years in the private, community and public sectors, Crooks has been an active member of the Second Nature Trust, responsible for Manukau’s Vodafone Events Centre and the Vector Wero Whitewater Park and is also former Chair of Pacific Business Trust. He also continues work through involvement as a Trustee on various boards including Fonua Ola Network Trust.

Both Jones and Crooks continue to work closely with Pasifika Futures.

ENDS.

For more information contact Haley Crooks, Communications Advisor on 09 250 5761 or email Haley@pasifikafutures.co.nz