The State Services Commissioner's Commendation for Frontline Excellence is awarded for outstanding spirit of service shown by a public servant.
Commendation recipients are people who:
demonstrate exceptional care and commitment to New Zealanders, and a ‘higher purpose' motivation
demonstrate the highest standard of integrity, kaitiakitanga , and the right attitude
generate pride in the Public Sector.
Two commendations were awarded at a special memorial service organised by the Department of Conservation on Thursday 9 May 2019.
Mr Paul Hondelink
Senior Ranger – Biodiversity
Paul’s 47 years of dedicated service to conservation were underpinned by a spirit of service to protecting New Zealand and New Zealanders. Paul was a pioneer and expert in the preservation of New Zealand mountain lands and a critical contributor to NZ Police Search and Rescue, FENZ fire response, and an active contributor to the Wanaka and Twizel communities. Paul was renowned for his work in the aerial control of Judas goat and tahr which frequently took him to inhospitable environments and away from home. Tragically, Paul lost his life in the course of his duties in a helicopter crash on Thursday 18 October 2018.
It was his dedication, deep expertise and spirit of service to the protection of New Zealand and New Zealanders that earned Paul this commendation. It is with sadness that this Commendation is awarded posthumously.
Mr Nick Wallis
Nick’s commitment to conservation and the protection of New Zealand mountain lands was well known to the conservation community. He was a highly regarded member of the DOC extended whanau. Recognised as one of New Zealand’s most skilled helicopter operators for wild animal control, Nick’s passionate dedication to conservation was valued by the Department of Conservation and the rangers who worked with him. Nick partnered with DOC to develop new ways of aerial wild animal control in the Mackenzie Basin and the Shotover. Tragically, Nick lost his life along with DOC Rangers Scott Theobald and Paul Hondelink in a helicopter crash on Thursday 18 October 2018.
This commendation is presented to Nick in thanks for the spirit of service he demonstrated in partnering with the Department of Conservation to protect New Zealand mountain areas. It is with sadness that this Commendation is awarded posthumously.