Horowhenua's former mayor has been recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Brendan Duffy was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government, an accolade he said was completely unexpected.

Mr Duffy, who since his mayoralty ended late last year has been appointed to several crown roles, including as chairman of MidCentral District Health Board and a Local Government commissioner, said he felt humbled to be nominated.

The achievements the honour recognised were carried out through teamwork, Mr Duffy said, and reflected community recognition of that fact.

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"You can't do it on your own," he said. "You can have as many bright ideas as you like, but if people don't or won't support the ideas, then you're not going to achieve anything.

"I'm eternally grateful to have been able to work with a bunch of people who have seen the vision and been supportive of the directions we've taken, and been able to make a difference."

Mr Duffy was a Horowhenua district councillor from 1995 to 2004 and mayor from 2004 to 2016.

During that time he oversaw the progression of a number of projects that were recognised by today's honour, including the Shannon drinking water and sewerage plant upgrades, establishment of the Lake Horowhenua Accord in 2013 - a programme of activities designed to restore the lake's environmental health, construction of Te Takere, establishment of Horowhenua Older Persons' Network and Education Horowhenua.

He was vice president of Local Government New Zealand from 2014 to 2016, and of Life To The Max Horowhenua since 2006.

Mr Duffy was also on the organising committee of the NZ Secondary Schools Mountain Biking Championships and has previously been involved with Lions Club of Levin, St Joseph's School Board of Trustees, and Levin Waitarere Surf Lifesaving Club.

He said establishing the Lake Accord was one project that particularly stood out to him as an achievement he could be proud of.

"That's the stand-out for me, because that has been one of the greatest challenges in our community to get some consensus on," he said.

"Now the community can work in partnership with the owners for a very long time, to make a monumental difference to that privately-owned lake in the heart of our community. You can build buildings and all sorts of things, but the Lake Accord, for me, is kind of like the soul in our community, and I think that's the one I'm most proud of."

Mr Duffy said he would have trouble identifying any one particular project that had been the most challenging during his tenure.

"None of them were easy. Whether it was building a new council building, or building Te Takere, or putting lights on the domain - everything that we touched seemed to have significant challenges around it, and having the guts to take those challenges on and do something about it gives me some comfort."

Having just sold his long-held business Canvasland in Levin, Mr Duffy said he would be focusing on his crown-appointed roles and taking some time to see what would be next.

"I'm just walking the journey of life," he said.

"I'm open to the next adventure."