Posted By QEII National Trust | June 9, 2021

Over the long weekend, the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2021 was announced. We were excited to see that our current Chair of the QEII National Trust Board of Directors, Bruce Wills, and former Board Director Gina Solomon were among the 170 individuals awarded with honours this Queens Birthday weekend. 
We are incredibly honoured to have two of our QEII whānau on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and are proud to celebrate their achievements along with the rest of the outstanding individuals on the honours list.  

Head shot of Bruce Wills against a burnt orange background

Bruce Wills  
For his services to agriculture and the environment, Bruce Wills has been appointed to be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). 
Bruce has made significant contributions on a regional, national, and international scale to the agricultural sector and the environment. He has held key leadership roles in shaping and guiding the sheep, beef, and wool industries, as well as in apiculture, horticulture, and deer farming. He has been a sheep and cattle farmer for 16 years and strives to lead by example with his own environmental and farming practices, with the Wills family winning the 2008 Hawke’s Bay Farm Environmental Award. 

QEII chair Bruce Wills with Jillian and Dick Jardine
QEII chair Bruce Wills with Jillian and Dick Jardine

Bruce was the National President of Federated Farmers from 2011 to 2014 and has held a number of governance roles. In addition to QEII National Trust, Bruce is the current Chair for Apiculture New Zealand, Motu Economic Public Policy Research, and the Primary Industry Training Organisation’s Transitional Boardas well as a Director of Ravensdown and Hort NZ and Trustee of two of the National Science Challenges and Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay. 

Gina Solomon at the Queens Canopy dedication event, gifting The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with a gift
Gina Solomon at the Queens Canopy dedication event, presenting The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with pounamu

Gina Solomon
For her services to conservation and governance, Gina Solomon has been appointed to be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Gina has applied a conservation and kaitiaki lens across a range of conservation governance appointments over two decades, including QEII National Trust where she served on our Board of Directors for seven years. 

Gina has also been Ngāi Tahu representative on the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board for 14 years and Chair since 2017. Her work over 10 years as founding memberadministrator, and project manager of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura led to the establishment of the Kaikoura marine protection legislation and the Kaikoura Marine Guardians. She was invited to facilitate a similar Te Korowai process for the Chatham Islands. 

In addition to QEII National Trust, Gina has been a ministerial appointee on the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board, Kaikoura Marine Guardians, Nature Heritage Fund, Molesworth Steering Committee, and the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group. She also been a member of the National Māori Network Collection Advisory Committee of the Environmental Risk Management Agency and the Hutton’s Shearwater Charitable Trust. 

She has also been involved with the local St Paul’s restoration group, which has worked to re-establish an area of native forest in South Bay, Kaikoura. She has been on the Water Zone Committee for the Canterbury Water Management Strategy since establishment and was actively involved with Takahanga Marae and on the Kaikoura Plains Recovery Project governance group following the 2016 earthquake. 

QEII board of directors on a board trip in 2018
QEII board of directors on a board trip in 2018. Left to right from back left: Donna Field, Mike Legge, Bruce Wills, Gina Solomon, Sue Yerex and James Guild

About The Honours 
The New Zealand Royal Honourssystem is made up of three Orders: the Order of New Zealand; the New Zealand Order of Merit; the Queen’s Service Order and associated Queen’s Service Medal. 

Anyone can nominate a person for a New Zealand Royal Honour. There are around 800-1,000 nominations considered every year and up to 400 are granted across the Queen’s Birthday and New Year honours lists.   The full Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2021 can be found here