Latest News 22 July 2020 | Tofilau Bernadette Pereira is still buzzing about a very special piece of mail that arrived for her earlier this year.
The member of Counties Manukau Health’s Consumer Council was delighted when she opened a letter announcing her New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Pacific Communities and Women.
Ms Pereira, who joined the Consumer Council in December 2019, says it is great to be recognised for a contribution that she is very proud of.
Bernadette is a Samoan chief, given the title of Tofilau from her village of Iva, Savaii in Samoa.
Over the years she has been involved with leading the 45-year old National Pacific Women’s Organisation, which was established to provide a voice and educational opportunities for Pacific women and their families in Aotearoa.
Ms Pereira also sits on a number of governance advisory committees, such as the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women, the Health Quality and Disability Commission Consumer Council and the Paramedic Council. She is a board member for the Southseas Healthcare Trust in Otara.
Ms Pereira says it is essential that women and Pacific people are involved in decision-making.
“You can’t talk about us without us [present].”
The Consumer Council is a group of up to 14 concerned individuals brought together to advocate for the health needs of people living in the Counties Manukau area who meet monthly to represent the interests of the people of CM Health. Members are selected through an interview process.