Some of New Zealand’s most inspiring women have been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list released today.

Olympian Valerie Adams, Maori educator Georgina Kingi and former Wellington Mayor Fran Wilde were all made Dames Companion and were among 81 women to receive a New Year Honour. Minister for Women Paula Bennett says all New Zealanders will be celebrating their achievements.

“Everyone on this list has been recognised for the exceptional work they do, for their communities and for their country. They are role models for all New Zealanders, and I am very proud of their achievements,” says Mrs Bennett.

“This year 43 per cent of recipients were women. Every day I met women across New Zealand who are making a huge contribution to our country and these Honours reflect that.

“These are real stories of success and proof that we live in a country where women can do anything. I’m especially proud of members of our police service Senior Constable Susan Guy and Sergeant Susan Robinson who have been made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.”

Senior Constable Guy and Sergeant Robinson co-established the Wahine Toa initiative to work with young women who have been victims of sexual abuse and provide support programmes to improve the wellbeing, education, safety and self-esteem of the participants.

Co-founder of Napier Community Patrol Sandra Ibbotson has also received the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

“I am a staunch advocate for women and will continue to fight for equal rights for everyone. Making women more visible in all layers of society will help us fight unfairness and inequality wherever it may arise,” says Mrs Bennett.

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