June 06, 2022
Mrs Makareta Desai-Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours 2022
To be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit: DESAI, Mrs Makareta Mamoa Willow
For services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community
Mrs Makareta Desai initiated the establishment of the Manaia fire force and first response unit, having required assistance from the Coromandel Volunteer Fire Brigade for a fire in 2002.
Mrs Desai identified prospective recruits and put together a fundraising team of village supporters in 2002. This led to the establishment of what is now the Manaia-Hauraki Volunteer Fire Brigade in 2003. She was involved in fundraising to build the Manaia Fire Station, which opened in 2013. She oversaw a smoke alarm installation campaign in 2020, which saw alarms installed in 143 properties over eight days. She was active with St John Coromandel from 2002 to 2005 and 2014/2015, during which time she helped build relationships between the organisation and the Māori community. She initiated establishment of Manaia River and Landcare in 2002 to provide ongoing slip prevention and biodiversity restoration to the river. She was a major contributor and Secretary from 2003 to 2009 and continues to be involved with working bees. She supported a partnership leading to creation of the Manaia River Restoration project with funding from Waikato Regional Council. She was Trustee and Secretary of Wiremu Tekou Trust from 1995 to 2014. Mrs Desai’s other community service included youth recreational coordinator, Helensville Māori Wardens, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Manaia School during the 1980s and 1990s.