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Sir Michael Jones, KNZM of Auckland, for services to the Pacific community and youth.

Sir Michael Jones, KNZM of Auckland, for services to the Pacific community and youth.

Sir Michael Jones is a former rugby union player and coach who has played in World Cups for New Zealand and has since been a driver of economic and social development for Pacific people in New Zealand and the Pacific region. Mr Michael founded and is Chairman of the Village Community and Youth Trust, which emerged in 2003 out of a youth drop-in initiative in West Auckland to keep Pacific and Māori youth out of gang activity. He launched the Village Sports Academy in 2010 as part of the wider work of the Village Trust. He championed the establishment of Village Trust’s mentoring programme targeting Pacific students to stay in school and fulfil their educational potential, and the Street Level Learning Academy for 15 to 18 year olds who had dropped out of school. He was instrumental in establishing the Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust, which established and sponsors the Pacific Advance Senior School, opened in 2015 to raise educational achievement of Pacific students who have traditionally struggled to fulfil their learning potential in mainstream settings. He is a Trustee of a number of Pacific economic and social transformational organisations, including the Community Christian Fellowship (CCF) in West Auckland. He was appointed Community Partnerships Manager at the Auckland University of Technology in 2001 and advocated for a Pacific seat on AUT’s executive, which resulted in the establishment of the Pasifika Advancement Office in 2004. Following the tsunami affecting Samoa and Tonga in 2009, Mr Jones assisted with organising the collection and distribution of emergency supplies to affected communities.

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