Avondale’s Phillis Meti was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sport, particularly golf, in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
A professional long drive golfer, in 2006 she became the youngest winner of the women's world title at 19-years-old. Phillis has represented New Zealand at the World Championships of Long Drive Golf for seven years, winning three World Championships, and is currently the World Number One ranked female long driver.
Born to parents of Cook Island heritage, Phillis grew up on Mead Street and then returned to the neighbourhood with her mum in 2015 after her dad sadly passed away. “My parents were always on the side-line growing up. If someone was to ask me one thing I appreciate the most it was my parents always being there. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through, I think it’s really important to be a good person first, and then a good athlete.
Phillis’s sporting experience is across several codes. She has been Golf Coordinator of the Auckland Cook Islands Sports Association since 2015 and organises the annual golf event. She has been a strong advocate for involving youth in sport, particularly girls, and has organised free junior golf clinics. She previously represented New Zealand in discus and shot put at the 2003 Oceania Games, 2003 Youth Olympic Games and the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games, and the Waka Ama World Championships in 2004 and 2006. She represented the Cook Islands in the annual Pacific Challenge Cup netball tournament for eight years.
Thanks to I Love Avondale for some of the wording.