Napier woman Cheryl des Landes, St John's Head of Patient Safety and Quality, has been awarded the honour of Membership to the Order of St John.

The honour is an independent part of the New Zealand Royal Honours System and confers Membership in the Order on those who strive to fulfil its objects and purposes.

Jeremy Stubbs, a Knight of the Order and chairman of the Regional Honours Committee said she had a highly regarded passion for clinical skills development and a committed advocate for quality standards in patient care "constantly seeking the best possible outcomes for our patients and St John staff".

Ms des Landes became a St John Ambulance officer in 1984 and appointed clinical standards manager in 2009. In 2011 she was appointed clinical audit manager, based in the Hawkes Bay, before being appointed to her current role.

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Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy inducted Ms des Landes at Wellington Cathedral on Saturday. Also at the ceremony the Governor-General was installed as the Prior of the Priory of St John in New Zealand. The Prior, usually the Governor-General, is supreme head of the Order in New Zealand, with executive responsibility delegated.

Nearly 30 people were presented with St John awards by Dame Patsy on Saturday including two new knights, Geoffrey Thomas Ridley of Christchurch and Jeremy Gilbert Oakley Stubbs of Cambridge.

All honours and awards made by the Order are sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Sovereign Head of the charity. It is not necessary for a person being admitted to the Order to be Christian but it is necessary for them to honour and uphold the Christian nature of the Order, established in Jerusalem by monks caring for Christians making the pilgrimage. It developed into a religious and military order providing care to any faith and defending when threatened.