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The achievements of dedicated conservation workers and volunteers have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list released today.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has congratulated the recipients and says everyone on the list has been recognised for the exceptional work they do for their local communities and New Zealand.

“They should all be very proud of their achievements and the work they are doing to save our threatened species, improve biodiversity, remove invasive weeds, control predators and fight disease such as kauri dieback,” Ms Barry says.

Ross Aitken is made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to conservation.

“He’s been involved in raising awareness of kauri dieback and promotes biosecurity in the Hauraki Gulf. He’s also an accredited supervisor for groups visiting Little Barrier Island and is chair of the Auckland Conservation Board,” Ms Barry says.

“Robin McNeill has also received the MNZM for his longstanding advocacy for conservation values and the public’s right to access and use public conservation land. He’s a former president of the Federated Mountain clubs.”

Ken Bradley has been awarded the Queen’s service Medal for work including the development of the Kepler track and his management of a sizeable conservation volunteer network throughout the Fiordland National Park.

Jude Gilbert also receives a QSM for her work on the Windy Hill Sanctuary.

“The sanctuary is an exemplar on how private landowners can collaborate to create biodiversity and local employment opportunities. She’s raised funds and employed locals on Great Barrier Island to systematically remove invasive plants and animals,” Ms Barry says.

“Te Kei Merito has been honoured with the MNZM for services to maori and conservation.  He was instrumental in establishing the nationwide cultural competency training programme for DOC and also implemented and established DOC’s maori language policy.”

James Guild has received MNZM for services to the deer industry and he is also the current chair of the Queen Elizabeth ll National Trust which helps private landowners to protect special natural and cultural features on their land.

Dave Hansford is a photographer, writer and blogger and whose work has been published in National Geographic News and DOC’s annual reports.  He has received a QSM for services to the environment.

“The dedication and achievements of everyone honoured inspires others and gives conservationists confidence that we can achieve our Predator Free 2050 goal,” Ms Barry says.

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