No more Queen’s Birthday honours, but instead we have the King’s Birthday honour’s list, which seems almost more anachronistic. It starts off both thoroughly well-deserved, with Jacinda Adern getting a top gong (Dame Grand Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit) for her having to put up with all the shit that the world threw at her in just four or five years, including Earthquake, Terrorist, Plague of Locusts, and all the misogynistic bullshit that the so-called “Freedom” idiots were banging on about while trashing our city.
The Honour’s List also starts off in the weirdest way possible, with some old person called Camilla getting a top gong as well, honestly, for entirely spurious reasons. Ummm, she helped launch a cookbook or something? Really? This gets her a position as an add-on to the exclusive list of “Twenty Living New Zealanders” who are awarded the Order of New Zealand – fancy that, who knew, that Camilla, the third person in the marriage of Charles and Diana, would be awarded an honour in the independent nation of New Zealand’s most important people.
“She has promoted the wellbeing of older citizens and keeping active, engaging with several such programmes in Christchurch, including Senior Chef, where she launched a cookbook for elderly people living alone,” the statement read. Charities that Camilla has worked with include Arohata Women’s Prison, the Wellington SPCA, Shine and the Battered Women’s Trust, as well as other organisations “supporting migrant women, new mothers, and literacy programmes”. An official statement released by the government said the newly-appointed Queen has “helped support The King’s relationship with New Zealand” and promoted charity work benefitting Kiwis. Hmmmm. Worked with? I’m guessing that amounted to allowing her name to be appended to a letter written by a flunkey, saying that she was a “Patron” of the Prison – I’m fairly certain she has never set foot inside this prison all of her life… I’m calling bullshit on this – just be honest, and say she gets one because she is married to the King. Plus, she likes the look of the NZOM
She’s “Not my Queen” – keep this sort of sycophantic nonsense out of our already creaking Honours system… I’m an elderly person living alone, and she hasn’t sent me a Cookbook…
But there is one surprise – and it is a welcome surprise. Amongst the hordes of sports people getting awards for their running up and down a field, yelling and passing a ball around, there are some people who actually got an award for plain old fashioned good hard work, and volunteering their time with no reward. No awards for Architects, of course, as the government seems not to even know what that is, judging from MBIE’s recent back-stabbing over “what, pray tell us, peasants, what is an Architect?”. But a welcome change for the building industry is the MNZM (Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for one Stacey Mendonca – For Services to Women. Congratulations Stacey – well done and well deserved. For those that don’t know Stacey, she is one of the brains and backbone behind NAWIC, which has been such an important part of normalising the appearance of women on Construction sites all over New Zild. I’ve known Stacey since I was a wee nipper, and she has always been great – and is now using her years of experience to make the path a little less rocky to other women in the Construction industry.
THE LEADING VOICE FOR WOMEN IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Good on you Stacey! I know it is not quite a knighthood, but I think that on this occasion we can all join with you and say “Rise up Stacey Mendonca” – and indeed, rise up all women in Construction in Aotearoa, and join in the celebrations round at the Mendonca household tonight! Mike – go and get some more beers in recyclable packaging cos there’s a party there tonight@! She is already a Life Member of NAWIC, and the NAWIC Awards Director for a number of years – possibly for all the years that NAWIC has been going? That’s a whole lot of unpaid, goodness of your heart time, as well as being a Mum and holding down a full time job or two.
How many more years will it be before we ever get a woman Knight Architect in the Honours List in NZ? Someone like Ser Brienne of Tarth – similar in many ways to Sir Stacey – battling out line honours for Kiwis. They are few and far between – the UK had architects Zaha Hadid and Eva Jiricna, the US eventually had Denise Scott-Brown, but I don’t think we have ever had much recognition for women architects in NZ. Happy to be proved wrong! Roll on the day! We took over a 100 years till NZIA decided to have a female President – now they’ve had several in quick succession (all well deserved of course). But actually, a Dame or Sir of any Architectural persuasion would be nice to see in Aotearoa again, now that we have lost Sir Ath, Sir Air Miles, and Sir Michael Fowler Centre.
Or, pray tell, do we all lose our jobs soon, and get taken over by an AI spambot ?