New Year’s Honours recipients recognised

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

New Year’s Honours recipients recognised

Fire and Emergency people from Kumeu, Kawakawa, Murchison, Clinton, and Ruatōria were presented with their Royal Honours at Government House today.

Governor General, Dame Cindy Kiro presented Wayne Martin, Paul Wilkins, Bill Harris, and Gina Chaffey-Aupouri with Queen’s Service Medals.

Murray Binning received a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit at the same ceremony.

Brian Vincent from Ōpunake was presented with his Queen’s Service Medal earlier this week.

Fire and Emergency Board Chair, Rebecca Keoghan says, “These honours reflect the commitment and hard mahi the recipients have put into their communities and our organisation. They make our communities safer, stronger, and more resilient; and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”

“I believe I can speak on behalf of everyone in Aotearoa when I thank them for their commitment to keeping New Zealanders safe. Congratulations on receiving such a well-deserved honour.”

Read more about the recipients below. 

 

Pictured L-R: Kerry Gregory, Chief Executive; Bill Harris; Paul Wilkins; Murray Binning; Gina Chaffey-Aupouri; Wayne Martin; Rebecca Keoghan, Fire and Emergency Board Chair

 

Background on Recipients:

Mr Murray Frank Binning (Kumeu) – Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Murray Binning has made significant contributions as an executive officer with the New Zealand Fire Service / Fire and Emergency New Zealand for more than 40 years. Mr Binning joined the Auckland Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1970 and held a variety of leadership roles in Auckland before becoming Area Commander of Tauranga from 2012 to 2018. He also held the role of Waitemata Area Commander from 2018, before retiring in 2021.

Murray was a branch councillor of the Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) from 1999 and served as president in 2003. He played a key role in increasing membership and joining the IFE with the Fire Protection Association to form FireNZ, which continues today. Mr Binning became vice president of the Auckland Fire Brigade’s Museum and Historical Society in 2010 and has been patron since 2015. He has also been involved with the Waitakere Licensing Trust, supporting applications across the district from volunteer fire brigades seeking to purchase extra equipment.

He played a key role in establishing Auckland’s Urban Search and Rescue team in 2002, holding the roles of deputy team leader and then team leader until 2017. He was deployed as team leader to assist in the response to the 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquakes and in Fiji following 2016’s Cyclone Winston.

 

Mr Wayne Calven Martin (Kawakawa) – Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

Wayne Martin of Te Rarawa iwi has been a member of the Kawakawa Volunteer Fire Brigade since 1992 and Chief Fire Officer (CFO) since 2006.

Wayne Martin is a member of Northland’s Chief Fire Officer Leadership Group, mentoring newly appointed CFOs and officers. He has played a major part in positive change management, having held senior roles with the brigade through three restructures. He was instrumental in the establishment of a cadets’ unit within the Kawakawa Brigade. His whānau approach within the brigade has seen initiatives such as local kuia caring for brigade members’ tamariki while attending incidents, and a proactive team delivering fire safety education in homes and the community.

Wayne Martin introduced a tikanga Māori approach at fatal incidents, now a common practice across the region. He was employed as iwi liaison officer with Fire and Emergency New Zealand (and before that, the New Zealand Fire Service) from 2007 to 2018. In this role he built networks through collaboration with the New Zealand Police Iwi Liaison team. He is now a group manager within Northland and has been incident controller for several significant wildfire incidents in the region.

Wayne is coach of Ngāti Hine Kawakawa/Moerewa Rugby team and has coached at representative level.

 

Mr Paul Henry Wilkins (Murchison) – Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

Paul Wilkins has contributed to his community through Search and Rescue, Scouts and Fire and Emergency New Zealand for 35 years.

Paul became a volunteer firefighter with the Murchison Fire Brigade in 1983, later becoming Deputy Chief Fire Officer in 1999 and then Chief Fire Officer (CFO) in 2004, a role he held until his retirement in 2017. As the CFO, Paul organised volunteers to respond to callouts between Nelson and Christchurch. He is a life member of the Murchison Volunteer Fire Brigade and of the Gold Star Association after receiving a Gold Star for his long service.

Paul has been a scout leader and a member of Search and Rescue and Civil Defence for several years. He has helped with local ambulance services and trained to be a first responder for St John. He organises working bees through his church for projects around his community including flood control of the local river. He is the first aider for local rugby clubs and has dressed up as Santa Claus for several organisations including Playcentre and the Christmas Street Gala.

Paul was also a recipient of the Community Award in 2014 for his outstanding service to the community.

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Mr William Mervyn (Bill) Harris (Clinton) – Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

Bill Harris has been involved with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and before that, the New Zealand Fire Service since 1990 and remains active as an operational firefighter and treasurer. He is a general contractor by trade and has volunteered his time and use of machinery to several local projects within the community and region.

Bill Harris was the Chief Fire Officer of the Clinton Fire Brigade for a number of years, attaining his station officer’s qualification in 1998. He was on the committee to establish the Clinton First Responders Unit, is an active first responder, and treasurer and chairman of the First Responder Trust. He has undertaken projects for the local school, golf club, childcare centre, and Lions Club. He is a regular supporter of the Lions Club’s annual Brassica Competition Fundraiser and sponsors the Clinton Senior Citizens bus service.

Bill also provided a loan at a discounted rate to ensure a fuel outlet could be available in Clinton, following closure of the local garage in 2011.

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Mrs Gina Chaffey-Aupouri (Ruatōria) – Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Māori

Gina Chaffey-Aupouri has been an advocate for Ngati Porou by offering health education as a nurse and empowering whānau, hapu and iwi through community development. Gina is an Operational Support Volunteer with Tokomaru Bay Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Gina focuses on Māori health education and applies her understanding of tikanga when engaging with schools in the Tairāwhiti area to promote Health Education topics such as Puberty Education. She was the New Zealand Nurses Organisation delegate for Ngati Porou Hauora from 1994, representing her iwi and addressing Māori inequity.

She has volunteered for Comet Swimming Club since 2000, refereeing and timekeeping at regional and national levels. She coached children from ages four to eighteen with Ruatōria Swimming Club, contributing to the Life Tairāwhiti Project which focuses on teaching tamariki water skills for life.

 Her understanding of the language, culture, and spirituality of Ngati Porou is reflected through her commitment to various community events such as organising and supporting kapa haka groups and travelling with the elders to support the kaupapa. She was instrumental in leading more than 200 families to gather for the first Puna Reo in Ngati Porou to continue the learnings of the iwi and organising Ngati Porou inter-Marae sports. Mrs Chaffey-Aupouri was Treasurer then Vice President of Ngati Uepohatu Māori Women’s Welfare League from 2002 and was made a Life Member in 2021.

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Mr Brian William Vincent (Ōpunake) – Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community

Brian Vincent is a member of the Ōpunake Volunteer Fire Brigade and has been a volunteer firefighter for 61 yearsremains active in a brigade support role. He is one of Fire and Emergency’s longest serving volunteers.

Brian attained the rank of senior firefighter and was a representative on the Taranaki Provincial Fire Brigade Association and a United Fire Brigades Association (UFBA) delegate. The knowledge he gained from his involvement with the Ōpunake water scheme, from laying pipes to maintaining them, has been an invaluable asset to the brigade.

Brian has been involved with Ōpunake RSA for many years and is currently president. He was an elected member of Egmont Plains Community Board from 2007 to 2019 and continues as an advisor. He has been a member of the local community transport group since 2015, volunteering his time to transport people to hospital and other appointments in New Plymouth 50 kilometres away. He has been a member of the Opunake Lions Club since 1989, helping with numerous community projects.

Brian is also a member of the Ōpunake Civil Defence committee, and he works with the Department of Corrections to coordinate and oversee tasks for community service workers. He has been on the committee of the community-owned and operated cinema, fundraising for refurbishment of the cinema and volunteering in front-of-house roles. Brian also volunteers with the Cape Egmont Lighthouse and Museum as a guide for visitors.