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Two from Ōamaru awarded King's Birthday Honours

Waitaki App

Staff Reporter

05 June 2024, 11:04 PM

Two from Ōamaru awarded King's Birthday HonoursFrances Oakes and Andrew Dunn have both been recognised in the weekend's King's Birthday Honours. Photos: Supplied/Facebook

Two Ōamaru people were recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List at the weekend.

Andrew Dunn was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to people with Parkinson’s disease, while Frances Oakes JP was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health and the Pacific community.

Andrew co-founded Parkinson’s New Zealand in 1983, and has volunteered with the organisation for the past 40 years in a variety of roles including president, national councillor, board chair and national co-ordinator.


He also established Parkinson’s New Zealand’s Field Officer service, which has professionals visiting people living with Parkinson’s disease in their homes.

Andrew has been involved with the Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Otago divisions over the years and represented the organisation at international conferences. 

He has been an active member of the organisation’s national board since 1983, and chair for several terms. 

Andrew’s achievements have been acknowledged on the Parkinson’s New Zealand website:

“If it had not been for Andrew, tens of thousands of New Zealanders may never have received the support required to live with this progressive and incurable condition,” the website says.

“Parkinson’s New Zealand will continue to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Dunn and advocate his life-long vision that all people must have access to trustworthy information, education and support to live positively with Parkinson’s.

“We are delighted for and so proud that Andrew Dunn (ONZM) has been recognised for his exceptional life-long service for people with Parkinson's.”

During his term as president from 1998 to 2000, he encouraged the UPBEAT special interest group for people with young onset Parkinson’s, and in 2011, was recognised with the Orangi Kaupapa Trust Award for developing a sustainable community service and was named a Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year for 2021.

Parkinson’s New Zealand now has 17 volunteer support groups around the country. 

Meanwhile, Frances Oakes has been contributing to mental health in the Waitaki District for more than 30 years.

She has played a key role in providing critical crisis intervention, grief support, triage and case management services in the region, and helped establish the Counselling Centre (now Waitaki Community Mental Health Service) -  which provides essential mental health support.

She co-founded the Suicide Prevention group within the Waitaki Mental Health Service which provides families with support. 

Frances also founded the Oamaru Pacific Island Community group in 1998, a community-led Pacific provider which has become a cornerstone for fostering unity and support for Pacifika communities. 

She has led the Friday Cultural Programme for the Oamaru Pacific Island Community group, which advocates the preservation of Pacifika languages and cultures. 

In her capacity as chair of the Oamaru Pacific Island Network Frances supported the delivery of the Talanoa Ako programme in 2018, a community engagement model which highlights the effectiveness of culturally responsive initiatives.

She has led the Le Va training in the Waitaki, which supports Pasifika families and communities to achieve their best possible health and wellbeing outcomes, and received a Waitaki Citizens Award in 2023 for her contributions.