Broadcaster Ma'a Brian Sagala 'very humbled' to accept Queen's Service Medal
531pi presenter says his main aim has always been to serve the Pacific community.
31st December, 2022
PMN presenter Ma'a Brian Sagala admits he hesitated before accepting his Queen's Service Medal in the New Year Honours List.
"I don't feel that what I do in the role that I play justifies a recognition such as this. That was the main reason.
"What I do is what I do. It's not to seek attention or to grow one's profile.
"My main aim has always been to serve our Pacific community in whatever capacity with whatever gifts and talents I have been blessed with."
But a conversation with his wife Alberta persuaded him to accept.
"For a long time I was quite hesitant thinking about it. But then my wife said, it's not just about you and I thought, gosh that's so true."
Ma'a says he was "very very humbled" to receive the award.
"Of course I'm very honoured to be recognised, it's not something that you seek. It's great to be recognised for your contribution however little for our Pacific community."
Ma'a, who's been a producer and presenter on 531pi since 2015, says thinking about his parents also helped his decision.
"My immediate thoughts go to my dad who passed away in 2009. It's part of the reason why I actually accepted this."
As well as presenting Pacific Days with Brian on 531pi, Ma'a has worked extensively in the community for many years.
He is a facilitator of the South Auckland Community Fono, for the Pacific Health Advisory and of The Cause Collective, hosting community fono with Pacific church leaders on health, wellbeing and family issues.
Ma'a says his Queen's Service Medal is about family and community.
"Even though it's my name on the certificate it represents something that's much greater than me and continues the legacy of those who have come before me, my parents and grandparents.
"I think for my children, for my grandchildren, for my wider family and for those who see me out in the community, it is recognition.
"It's that thing, we don't look at it from the perspective as an individual, it's always the collective good.
"In some small way it will contribute to the collective good of the aspirations of our wider Pacific community."