A pioneer entrepreneur, Avon Cook has been in business in New Zealand since 1946, after leaving school at 18.

"I had no academic qualification," said Cook, who today was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the manufacturing industry

"[I feel] very humble. When one commences a career it never enters one's mind that your life's work might be considered a contribution to New Zealand," he said.

"You just have a passion to succeed honourably."

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Over his career, Cook has contributed significantly to the successful development of several businesses in this country and abroad, as well as committing to a range of charities.

Cook is the director of Novatek International, and the chairman and director of Fabricell International - a leading medical, industrial and food processing protection supplier.

Under his guidance the company has grown rapidly and now exports to a range of countries, with Fabricell the main supplier of disposable medical gloves to the South East Asian market.

Cook has also pioneered world-class products, such as the first anti-bacterial disposable glove for the food industry.

In 2011, Fabricell donated $250,000 worth of product to the Christchurch Earthquake Disaster Fund.

As well as his work in business, Cook is a highly active member of the Auckland Jewish Community and a member of the Grafton United Cricket Club - his passion.

"My personal proudest moment was scoring a century for the Auckland Grammar School 1st XI and being chosen twice for consideration to represent Auckland," Cook said.

"However I consider my greatest and proudest commercial achievement was establishing the first NZ/Japanese Joint Venture in 1960."

This partnership was with Japanese zipper company YKK - Yoshida Kogyo.

Cook said the deal led to a 20-year association with several international companies and gave him the confidence to negotiate business investments in the health and food industries.