Governor-General Presents Prestigious Life Member Awards

Monday 02 December 2013

The Governor‐General has presented Life Membership of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) to four people in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the organisation.

The Governor-General, who is also the patron of NZAF, presented the prestigious Life Member Awards in a ceremony at Government House, Auckland on 28 November, coinciding with World AIDS Day on 1 December. The recipients are: Michael Bancroft JP; Kevin Hague MP; Anthony Hughes QSM; and Faith Christine Takuwai Makiri Mason.

2013 NZAF Life Members

Michael Bancroft MStJ JP

Michael Bancroft has been a tirelessly strong and consistent advocate for people and communities affected by HIV since the late 1980s. A member of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation since 1990, Michael was a founding member and later chairperson of Auckland Community AIDS Services in 1991, and in 1992 he founded Catholic AIDS Ministry to assist priests and people in the care and support of those who specifically identified as Catholic.  Michael was responsible for the NZ AIDS Memorial Quilts and negotiated with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa for the handing over and gifting of them as a national taonga in 2012. Michael is presently the Community Care Manager for St John overseeing over 900 community volunteers, and he continues his voluntary work in the GLBTI community.

Kevin Hague

Kevin Hague was approached in 1988 to work for the NZAF alongside Tony Hughes with the objective of having sexual orientation and HIV status added to the grounds on which discrimination was illegal. This was achieved in 1993 and along the way, Kevin became involved in many community events, such as joining the organising committee for the first Hero Party, organising and co-chairing the national gay and lesbian conference, and assisting with much of the NZAF’s other work. Kevin returned to the NZAF in 1998 as Executive Director, and in his five years in the role he overhauled the governance structure, increased the profile and resourcing of the Hauora Takatāpui programme, and achieved a very substantial increase in resources for the Foundation. In his current role as a Member of Parliament, Kevin continues to work through multiple initiatives aimed at the empowerment of the LGBT community to increase the resilience of the communities most at risk of HIV infection.

Tony Hughes QSM

Tony Hughes has dedicated a career spanning 28 years to the NZAF, New Zealand’s fight against HIV, and the equal rights of men who have sex with men. He was instrumental in advocating for the 1986 Homosexual Law Reform Act and the 1993 amendment to the  Human Rights Act that outlawed discrimination against people on the grounds of their of sexuality or HIV-status. The passage of both laws has had a profound effect on the lives of MSM and the ability of the NZAF to run HIV awareness and prevention campaigns and provide healthcare services for people living with and affected by HIV. Tony’s work is as crucial today as it was when he started with NZAF in 1984. He received the Queen’s Service Medal in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List for community service. His passion and tireless dedication to his work makes Tony an outstanding recipient of this award.

Aunty Wai Mason

The late Aunty Wai was in the forefront of championing the NZAF vision for Māori communities, working with many Kaumatua, whānau and rainbow communities. Throughout her time with NZAF, Aunty Wai promoted HIV and AIDS awareness, anti-discrimination and anti-prejudice messages, and condom use to communities that often found these topics challenging. She was the face of this cause on many marae, in Māori media and on Māori Television. Aunty Wai was an active Māori advisor, Kuia and supporter to NZAF for more than 20 years and a Māori Advisory Board member from 2010 until her passing.  Aunty Wai worked not only to support Takatāpui, but was committed to supporting all of our communities. Despite her health struggles, she remained determined and dedicated to uphold her support to NZAF and the kaupapa. We would like to acknowledge her whānau, some of whom are here today to collect this award on her behalf.

 

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