King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours 2023: Ralph Correa recognised for advocating ethnic inclusion in Northland

Whangārei JP Ralph Correa has been recognised for services to the Indian community in Northland. Photo / Tani Whyte

A Queen’s Service Medal* awaited Ralph Correa after more than a decade of advocating for ethnic inclusion across Northland.

The Whangārei-based Justice of the Peace and financial advisor is among seven Northlanders recognised in the King’s Birthday and Coronation Honours list this year.

Correa was part of a small group that established the Northland Indian Association (NIA) in 2007 in order to unite the Indian and pan-ethnic communities in the region, and he also chairs the Multi-Ethnic Collective.

He’s the ethnic community representative speaker at meetings and events regarding ethnic inclusion. Apart from the association, Correa is the president of the Kensington Cricket Club – Ethnic Youth, a member of the Lottery Northland Community Committee, and of the Community Organisation Grants Scheme Whangārei/ Kaipara Distribution Committee.


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“It’s unbelievable that I’ve got this recognition. It all starts with something that you believe in and you want to do in the community. I think the community has played a major role in my being able to facilitate some of the initiatives that we work through.

“Without the community, we are a nobody. It’s a village and we have to belong to it. It’d be good to know who recommended me. It has to be someone from the community,” he said.

Correa said the group started the association purely with the aim of keeping the Indian culture and our heritage alive for generations to come, and to share them with the wider community.

He said the association undertook a number of projects in Northland, and people have benefited from them, which proved things could be achieved if people have the right attitude and the ability to give their time.


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“We’ve used the NIA template for the multi-ethnic group because a lot of ethnic groups are in the same position as when we started. They were small, there were a few people, and they didn’t have a sense of direction,” Correa said.

“We need to not only keep our culture but to share our culture with the wider community, and to adopt some of New Zealand way of living which, when people come here for the first time, find it a bit overwhelming.”

Correa said he has a considerate family that supported him in whatever work he undertook in the community.

* The Queen’s Service Order and its accompanying medal, the Queen’s Service Medal, is still named after the late Queen Elizabeth II this year, but will change name to the King’s Service Order and King’s Service Medal to acknowledge the new monarch.

The first honours using the new titles are likely to be announced as part of the King’s Birthday Honours List 2024.

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