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Netball stalwart honoured

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/06/2016

After five years as part of an international team redesigning the netball rule-book, Dawn Jones is looking forward to a little time off.

Some of it will be briefly taken up with a low-key celebration of her recognition in the Queen's Birthday Honours, where she has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to netball and education.

And some will include a quiet vote of thanks that there's no more typing or proof-reading on the immediate horizon.

"I think I proof-read 19 versions of that rule-book before we got it all OK," she told NZ Newswire.

Consultation, trials of proposed changes, feedback and the elimination of some "fussy" rules all took time.

At the forefront was the desire to cut back on the amount of whistle in the game, and to eliminate unnecessary stoppages.

"We were trying to rationalise into a more modern approach which allowed the game to get on without being so pedantic," Jones said.

A former Netball NZ president, Jones also spent 15 years as New Zealand's top-ranked umpire, officiating at four world championships, 85 Test matches and more than 200 first-class games.

She also chaired the International Netball Federation's umpiring advisory panel from its establishment in 2008 until 2013.

Among others to receive sports-related honours are All Whites legend Steve Sumner, whose international career spanned 12 years and 105 appearances.

Sumner, who last year revealed he is battling prostate cancer, has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He captained the first New Zealand team to reach the World Cup finals in 1982, and scored in the All Whites' 5-2 loss to Scotland.

Sports broadcaster Lesley Murdoch, a former national cricket and hockey rep, was also made an Officer of the NZOM for services to sport which included time on the boards of New Zealand hockey, netball and cricket.

Former Test cricketer and New Zealand captain Barry Sinclair was made a Member of the NZOM, as were Auckland netball coach and administrator Marlene Flavell and former New Zealand volleyball player Hugh McCutcheon, who coached the US men's team to Olympic gold in 2008 and the women's to silver four years later.

One-Test 1970s All Black Blair Furlong was awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to cricket and rugby.

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