New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Korean citizen awarded New Zealand Order of Merit
Mr Chi Kap-chong was made an Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 New Zealand Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List for services to New Zealand-Korea relations. On 24 September, a special investiture ceremony was held for Mr Chi at the New Zealand Ambassador’s Residence in Seoul.
On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, Ambassador Rata presented Mr Chi with his medal at a ceremony attended by members of Mr Chi’s family, the Minister of Veterans and Patriots Affairs of Korea, ambassadors and other dignitaries. The occasion highlighted the important and lengthy contribution Mr Chi has made to New Zealand – Korea relations over many decades. It was particularly appropriate that Mr Chi’s service was recognised during the 2012 Korea-New Zealand Year of Friendship. Ambassador Rata noted that it was very rare for non-New Zealanders to be recognised in this manner.
The official citation describing Mr Chi’s service to New Zealand-Korea Relations is as follows.
For services to New Zealand-Korean relations
Mr Chi Kap-chong is a retired Korean journalist and a former member of the Korean National Assembly, who in his current role as Chair of the UN Korean War Allies Association, has been instrumental in establishing the New Zealand ANZAC memorial in Kapyeong and donated the stone that forms the base of the memorial.
He founded the UN Korean War Allies Association in 1963 and has been Chair since 1977. He has worked tirelessly for more than fifty years to promote better understanding between the UN Allies, particularly the Commonwealth countries and Korea. He has focused on ensuring that veterans are remembered by current and future generations of Koreans. Despite being in his eighties, he continues to attend all Commonwealth Commemorative meetings and activities. His counsel and advice have smoothed the path for New Zealand in Korea. Mr Chi’s efforts on behalf of New Zealand have enhanced personal remembrance for New Zealand families and perpetuated Korean awareness of the part New Zealand played in the Korean War.