Tauranga residents make Queen’s Birthday Honours
Two Tauranga residents have made this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Current captain of the Black Ferns Sevens Sarah Hirini is receiving a New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to rugby, and Paul Adams is to become a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to philanthropy and the community.
Paul is a well know Tauranga philanthropist and businessman and became a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2015. He has made an outstanding contribution over many years to the lives of a multitude of individuals and organisations in the Bay of Plenty and elsewhere.
Since 2015 he has continued to hold a range of patronages, trusteeships and leadership positions for a variety of charitable and community organisations.
Paul is a patron of IHC Bay of Plenty and Te Tuinga Whanau Support Trust. In 2015 he became patron of Waipuna Hospice in Tauranga following 12 years as a trustee.
Amongst a lot of things, Paul is a director of Kordia, a state owned Telecommunications Company and as a council member of University of Waikato has been directly involved in bringing the new university campus to Tauranga.
As a founding director he donated a significant sum to the university for the development of the Adams High Performance Sports Centre in Tauranga, now home to New Zealand Rugby Sevens.
He was a board member of the correspondence school Te Kura for four years.
Paul has provided philanthropic support to a range of sports, arts and community events around the North Island.
Paul says he is feeling very pleased with receiving this honour.
“However, it is not about the honour itself, although it is very humbling and gratifying – it is more about recognition for doing your bit to help others, communities and those unable to help themselves,” says Paul.
Sarah is the current captain of the Black Ferns Sevens and has been a leading figure in the recognition of women’s rugby in New Zealand.
Sarah has led the Black Ferns Sevens team to victory at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013 and 2018, a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Her leadership both on and off the field is reflected in the team’s successes and she has brought a strong work ethic, leadership and commitment to her appearances for the Black Ferns and the Black Ferns Sevens.
Sarah was recognised as the Women’s Player of the Year at the 2017 New Zealand Rugby Awards and the Best Female Athlete in Oceania at the Association of National Olympic Committees in Prague in 2017.
Sarah Hirini is receiving a New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to rugby. Image: Supplied.