Catholic Principal and Prison Chaplain celebrated in honours list

Long-time principal and teacher of St Joseph’s Maori Girls College has received the country’s highest honour.

Georgina Kingi has been named a Dame in the New Year’s Honours List.

“On behalf of my brother bishops I would like to congratulate Dame Georgina Kingi on this very special and public acknowledgement of her dedication and commitment to Maori Catholic education.” Bishop Patrick Dunn said.

“There will be many young women, pupils past and present around New Zealand and overseas who will be delighted and proud to hear of Miss Kingi becoming a Dame.” Bishop Dunn said.
She has been principal of St Joseph’s Maori Girls College since 1987, having taught at the school since 1969. She has also been a member of the Education Expert Panel for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

Of the announcement today, Education Minister Hekia Parata said, “Dame Georgina has worked tirelessly in education for over 40 years and has played a pivotal role in the education of generations of young Maori women. This honour is truly deserved.”

Also named in this year’s honours list is Catholic Prison Chaplain Mary Kamo as a Companion of the Order of Merit for her services to prisoners.

“We are delighted that one of our dedicated and hard working prison chaplains has been publicly acknowledged for work which is challenging, little known and takes place behind the scenes.” Bishop Dunn said.

“The award acknowledges her work supporting prisoners and accompanying them as they begin to turn their lives around and looking to reintegrate into the community.” He said.

“In this time of celebration we thank them for their ministries and pray for their continued energy and dedication.” He said.