Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 – Waitaki recipients

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QSM Recipients

BAK FONG (PETER) LEE

★ Oamaru

★ Services to horticulture and the community

Bak Fong (Peter) Lee arrived in New Zealand as a youngster in 1949.

As a pupil at Waitaki Boys’ High School, in Oamaru, Mr Lee watched from the sidelines as his father ploughed fields with horses.

Now the retired market gardener is recognised as an industry leader in technological innovation, particularly in the development of superior seed and plant production.

“We more or less moved from the Stone Age onwards,” Mr Lee (82) said.

For nearly 30 years Mr Lee was a director of the North Otago Growers Co-op. He is a life member of the North Otago Vegetable and Potato Growers Association.

He was a member of the Totara School Parent Teacher Association from 1975 to 1990, and was instrumental in obtaining a free school bus and fundraising for the school’s first computers.

He once served as a trustee of the Waitaki Health Board.

Born in a village in Guangdong Province, China, Mr Lee was also the first Chinese grower to represent a district association at national level in the Vegfed fresh vegetable sector.

For more than three decades he has been involved with the Oamaru branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association.

Beyond organising cultural events, Mr Lee and his wife, Shui (Betty) Lee, have served as a bridge between the Chinese community and other New Zealanders, overcoming language barriers.

“It’s an honour to be trusted and supported by the people I help,” Mr Lee said.

Dugald MacTavish, of Moeraki.
PHOTO: SUPPLIED

DUGALD IAN DUNLOP MACTAVISH

★ Moeraki

★ Services to conservation and the environment

For the past 20 years, Dugald MacTavish and his wife, Alison, have campaigned for change “as a team”.

Mr MacTavish has dedicated countless hours to providing hydrological expertise and evidence at hearings, and fundraising for community projects both locally and in developing countries.

He has also organised regional seminars and workshops, and helped to prepare submissions to councils, the Environment Court and Parliament.

“What I really reckon is lovely is that in the last few months there’s been this tremendous upsurge of youth coming out en masse demanding that sort of change towards resilience, and going away from the development-centred focus that we’ve had around individual gain,” Mr MacTavish (68) said.

“That’s a massively positive sign.”

“I don’t know how many stirrers like me get these kind of awards, but if it helps with that in any way at all, then it’s good.”

A trained geohydrologist and water engineer, Mr MacTavish, of Moeraki, started the Dunedin branch of Oxfam Water for Survival, helped form Waitaki First to oppose Project Aqua, initiated Sustainable Dunedin City and the Hampden Community Energy Societies, and helped establish the Wise Response Society.

Among his many contributions to conservation and the environment was his role in the community of Hampden buying a shared electric car.

He said that he was honoured to be recognised – and did so with his wife’s encouragement.