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Sarai Bareman and Barbara Dreaver are amongst the New Zealand Order of Merit New Year list 2024

The 2024 New Year Honours list has been released, and Sarai Bareman is being recognised for her continuous contributions to football governance. She has been bestowed with the title of Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

Barbara Dreaver, the 1News Pacific Correspondent, has been recognised for her outstanding contributions to investigative journalism and Pacific communities. She has been appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2024 New Year Honours List.

Sarai, who is of Samoan descent, was contacted by News Hub NZ at her home in Switzerland and she shared her thoughts, "I'm still processing it a little bit, to be honest. It's obviously an incredible honour. Being recognised at this level is amazing, and I'm grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, allowing me to make such an impact."

Melissa Stokes of One News said that Barbara's job is not just about giving Pacific people a voice, "it also shares those stories with New Zealand because many New Zealanders are interested. It's just stories about people and their lives."

She stays in touch with many of the people she's done stories with. Barb counts the measles epidemic in Samoa as one of the hardest to cover and looks back at meeting a 15-year-old dying of cancer as one of the stories that meant a lot to her.

Her enduring career has shone a light on our Pasifika communities, from taking down scam artists to wonderful Pacific stories. Watch out, those of you involved in dodgy dealings; Barb might be right around the corner.

Sources: NZ News Hub; One News; BluTV

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