A shift in attitudes towards drink-driving was the major change seen by retired police superintendent Paula Rose in her 27 years in road policing.
"When I started with the Ministry of Transport in 1984 the amounts people would drink and the social acceptance of drink-driving was light years away from what it is today," she said at an investiture ceremony yesterday. "We've still got too many people drinking and driving but attitudes are changing, we've got some wonderful young people doing great things."
Mrs Rose, from Upper Hutt, was made a companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to police and the community in the New Year Honours list. She received the insignia from Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at Government House in Wellington yesterday.
Mrs Rose was police national road policing manager for four years until her retirement last year when the road toll reached a 60-year low.
Others to be recognised were two police officers who have been honoured for their work with hundreds of grieving families after the Canterbury earthquakes and Pike River Mine and Carterton balloon disasters.
Inspectors Mark Harrison and Wendy Robilliard developed new police response systems for mass casualty events.
Mr Harrison and Ms Robilliard were made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours and were awarded their insignia yesterday.
Meanwhile, restaurateur Fleur Sullivan made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, said the award was in recognition for her philosophy of championing fresh, local seafood and produce.
Auckland restaurateur Tony Astle was also honoured, becoming an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a chef.