New Zealand multisport athlete Cameron Brown has been honoured to bring in the New Year, named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to triathlon.

Brown's stellar triathlon career spans 30 years, where he excelled in the Ironman, finding local and international success.

Brown has won the New Zealand Ironman a stunning 12 times and placed second and third in the World Championships in Hawai'i twice each.

The Ironman is one of the world's most physically taxing sporting events, made up of a gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and finished off with a 42km run.

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Upon reflection, for a man with an ever-growing trophy cabinet, Brown says this honour ranks "right up there".

"I'm extremely happy to receive the award, it's pretty unexpected you know, all you're trying to do everyday is swim, bike and run to your best ability and you never think of getting this award so quite an honour," Brown told Radio Sport.

Brown has also been commended for his work with cystic fibrosis.

"It's nice to support those charities that have been alongside Ironman for many, many years.

"It's [triathlon] an individual sport, you're thinking about yourself a lot of the time but there's a lot of other people and athletes and organisations that can use valuable help and money."

Listen: Cameron Brown on Radio Sport

Brown hopes he has followed in the footsteps of his heroes, Rick Wells and Erin Baker, who found success in the 80s and 90s.

"I'm just trying to help the sport of triathlon and get it back on top in a country where we're thriving in swim, bike and running every year."

44-year-old Brown still hopes to win a few more Ironman titles after recording his fastest New Zealand Ironman time at this year's event.

"It gets harder and harder with age, you know, 44, 45 in March so it's going to get tougher and tougher.

"Hopefully there's something left still in the tank but I know at some point retirement will be round the corner so I'll hold off as long as I can."