Dr Suitafa Debbie Ryan and Dr Palatasa Havea receive NZ Royal Honours


In celebration of the New Year, The Queen honours exceptional New Zealanders as part of the New Zealand Royal Honours.

Among the appointments to the New Zealand Order of Merit, we would like to congratulate Dr Suitafa Deborah Ryan for her services to the Pacific community and health and Dr Palatasa Havea for his services to the Pacific community and the dairy industry respectively. Both were appointed as Members of the said Order.

Debbie Sorensen, Pasifika Futures CEO passed on a congratulatory message.

“It’s wonderful to see our Pacific leaders recognised with such a prestigious accolade among many other exceptional Kiwis and it’s a real privilege for the Pacific community in New Zealand to be represented by these spectacular individuals.”

“We are humbled by their outstanding achievements and have no doubt that they will continue to serve and inspire through their work.”

“Both their careers have been built of the foundation of helping others and highlight what can be accomplished with passion, purpose and heart.”

Dr Debbie Ryan recipient of Life Award with Hon Bill English and PMA Patron Dr Joe Williams at the PMA 20th Anniversary Awards

Dr Debbie Ryan recipient of Life Award with Hon Bill English and PMA Patron Dr Joe Williams at the PMA 20th Anniversary Awards

Dedicating over 20 years of service, with a focus on Pacific and public health outcomes, Dr Suitafa Debbie Ryan helped to establish South Sea’s Healthcare in 1999. South Sea’s continues to help considerable numbers in the Pacific community today and is also a Pasifika Futures Core Whanau Ora provider.

2008 saw the start of a new role as Principal of Pacific Perspectives, a consultancy agency she founded, taking on projects for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Statistics New Zealand to name a few. With a range of senior, advisory, and agency governance roles as well as Ministerial appointments, Dr Debbie Ryan has a cap filled with various feathers of skill, talent and heart.

In 2016 Dr Ryan was presented with a Life Award by the Pasifika Medical Association for her exceptional and outstanding commitment to health service organisation or community.

Dr. Palatasa Havea’s work at Fonterra Research and Development Centre as a Senior Research Scientist has led to new whey protein technologies which help address some of the major global health and nutritional concerns.

As an active member of his community, Dr Havea serves on various Pacific Councils, Boards and Committee’s offering his expertise. His dedication and passion for Pacific people stretches far and wide, engaging in mission work in Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Australia and Papa New Guinea. Passionate about science, and wanting to see more Pacific students involved, he established the Pacific category in the Annual Manawatu Science fair in 2015 and continues to be a strong advocate for Pacific science.

We also acknowledge the high calibre of New Zealander’s appointed in the New Year’s Honours List 2018, particularly those contributing to the success and leadership of the Pacific community.

The full list of appointments for the New Year’s Honours List 2018 can be viewed here.