Shirley Christie would like to know who nominated her for a Queens Birthday Honour and thank them.

"Whoever it was probably deserved it more than I do," she said.

"Thank you, whoever you are."

She has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for her long service to the Whanganui community as a social worker and Justice of the Peace.


Christie was an active Justice of the Peace from 1989 and moved to JP retired status in 2017.

She served on the executive of the Whanganui and District Justices of the Peace Association for 13 years, during which she also tutored JP ministerial duties, travelling to Taihape and other district townships.

Christie sat on the Whanganui District Court bench as a Judicial JP for 20 years and was appointed visiting JP to Whanganui and district prisons.

"I also visited the New Plymouth Prison for a while," she said.

"My husband Ron had retired by then and he would accompany me on the drive with a packed lunch and a thermos."

Christie said she always maintained a good sense of humour in her work and recalled a prisoner giving her cheek when he learned that she was the visiting Justice.

"He asked if I was carrying a guillotine in my bag and I told him I didn't have it with me that day but I'd make sure to bring it next time if he didn't behave."

She served on the local executive and as president of Birthright Whanganui and as vice-president of Birthright New Zealand.


Christie is now a life member of Birthright Whanganui and the Whanganui Justices of the Peace Association.

She was a social worker in the drug and alcohol assessment unit at the Whanganui Hospital for 15 years and an executive member of the Alcohol and Drug Education Committee.

"I worked with Dr Peter Powles, who had been doing ground-breaking addiction research in Canada.

"He was a wonderful doctor and I had a very happy association with him."

Christie still treasures a card she received from Powles thanking her for work with him and praising her "natural talents" in working with clients.

She was also on the formation committee for Whanganui's first Women's Refuge and was the chairwoman for the Whanganui Medical Foundation.

"I have always enjoyed my work and I have met a lot of wonderful people.

"It feels a bit strange to be rewarded for doing things I enjoyed so much but I am very grateful for the recognition."