Five Mahurangi residents are among the 154 people recognised in this year’s New Year Honours list. The five local recipients are Gill and Kevin Adshead of Glorit, John Bowmar of Kaiwaka, Dr Tim Malloy of Wellsford, and Professor Emeritus Louise Nicholson of Snells Beach.
Gill and Kevin Adshead received the Queen’s Service Medal for their conservation work.
The couple started the Mataia Restoration Project in 2005, undertaking pest control on the family farm of 1300 hectares.
Today, 400 hectares of the farm is being restored to native bushland and successfully combines a working sheep and beef farm with a large-scale private conservation project. With local support, Mr and Mrs Adshead plant around 7500 native trees annually on the farm.
Corridors of native bush and stream banks have been replanted to provide safe passage for wildlife, protected from livestock. These efforts allowed for the return of kiwi to Mataia in 2013, the first reintroduction of kiwi to private land in the Auckland region.
To allow kiwi to disperse further afield, they established the Forest Bridge Trust in 2014 to drive creation of a safe ecological corridor from the east to the west. They have played a key role in connecting with landowners, farmers and the community to support and encourage conservation practices.
The couple supported the development of the CatchIT Schools programme to encourage students to undertake pest control, which now reaches schools from Pakiri to the Kaipara.
They have also worked alongside Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara to establish trap lines across Maunga o Atuanui.
Mr and Mrs Adshead have also served with Volunteer Service Abroad and as regional school supporters for Duffy Books in Homes.
John Bowmar has received a Queen’s Service Medal for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community. He says the award is an honour for not just himself, but for past and present members of the brigade, and his wife and two daughters. “No-one wins an award like this on their own,” he says.
Mr Bowmar has been a member of the Kaiwaka Volunteer Fire Brigade since 1977. He was deputy chief fire officer from 1994 to 2004 and has since served 16 years as chief fire officer. In the past 10 years, he has attended 847 callouts across a range of events including three on his daughter’s wedding day. He has provided support to the neighbouring Mangawhai Volunteer Fire Brigade, including mentoring new officers.
Mr Bowmar was an active member of the now defunct Kaiwaka Lions Club and been involved in community fundraising including for the Northland Rescue Helicopter Trust. He has supported the local Civil Defence team and has responded with his tractor to assist with rescues in the community.
Dr Tim Malloy has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to health. He has been a rural general practitioner for more than 30 years and has been involved in practice leadership through the Rural General Practice Network since the early 1990s.
As chair of the network, Dr Malloy has overseen the development of the NZ Locum Scheme, the PRIME (Primary Response in a Medical Emergency) scheme and the ACC Rural contract. At the Wellsford Medical Centre, he and his colleagues have developed a virtual multi-disciplinary integrated family health service.
Dr Malloy has provided input and advice to several Ministry of Health working groups and was involved in the formation of the General Practice Leaders’ Forum. He was the inaugural chair of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners’ Rural Faculty and was the college president from 2012 until 2018, overseeing the employment of registrars, the development of a new curriculum, and initiating minimum quality standards for GPs.
He established a Memorandum of Understanding between the college and the Cook Islands Ministry of Health in relation to rural training programmes. Dr Malloy has strongly advocated for primary and rural health care, his patients and GPs throughout New Zealand, and was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners.
Professor Emeritus Louise Nicholson has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to neuroscience and education. The former Mahurangi College teacher is a neuroscientist who has contributed significantly to the molecular level understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Professor Nicholson became head of biology for medicine in the Department of Anatomy with Radiology at the University of Auckland’s Medical School in 1989. In the late 1990s she set up her own independent laboratory, continuing to work on neurodegeneration such as motor neuron disease. She held numerous academic and committee roles at the University of Auckland, including council member and Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Medical Imaging. In 2011 she co-founded a Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility within the university’s Centre for Brain Research. On taking early retirement, she and her husband Jon gifted $1 million to the facility so her work into spinal cord injury could continue.
Prof. Nicholson has written numerous publications, presented nationally and internationally, and received several teaching awards. She has been a Council Member on the International Basal Ganglia Society and the Australasian Neuroscience Society. She pioneered the annual NZ Brain Bee Challenge for secondary school students and taught biomedical science at the Rotary National Science and Technology Forum. Prof. Nicholson has served on several trusts and boards over the years and remains a trust member of the Oakley Foundation and the Catwalk Spinal Cord Injury Research Trust.