"You were always a rebel and always wanted to change the world."
This was a message Chloe Wright received about a year ago from an old schoolfriend who had been following her work.
It wasn't something the philanthropist - or as Wright suggests, "humanitarian" - had seen in herself but on reflection, she admits her old school friend was right.
Today, Wright has been appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to philanthropy, education and health.
Wright said it was a "bit of a shock" when she received letters from the Prime Minister and Governor-General congratulating her on the achievement, as she assumed the first letter acknowledging the honour was a scam.
"It's very exciting, but you don't think about stuff like that. Your reward is seeing lives change. It's a constant and it's the most incredible thing that can happen to you."
Wright and her husband Wayne co-established the Wright Family Foundation in 2014, which she leads as a chief executive without remuneration.
The foundation provides funds and assistance to improve the educational, emotional and psychological wellbeing of New Zealanders, with 2020's annual distributions projected to total $7 million.
It supports more than 25 projects and organisations in a multitude of areas.
In 2014 she founded Birthing Centre. As director, she oversees centres established in Bethlehem in Tauranga, Lower Hutt, Palmerston North and Mangere that offer extensive postnatal support.
In 1996 she co-founded BestStart Educare, with the first centre opened on Waihi Rd. It now operates under the Wright Family Foundation and is New Zealand's largest early learning education organisation with 270 centres and around 20,000 children attending as of March.
Wright said many people had thanked her for the impact of her work, but that was not her motivation to continue.
"You don't remember (what you said) but they'll say, "that changed who I was" and nothing in this world could give me more satisfaction.
"Our ethos is growing the good, not being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, but actually being the support in the beginning.
"Having said that, you can't help being the ambulance sometimes because I can't say no."
Wright's first passion is education, but in recent years she has learnt more about the importance of the first years of a child's life, and especially the first few moments.
It is why she created the Birthing Centre, hoping to create a space were whānau can get the support and guidance they need in those first days with their new baby.
"Society often judges people by their socioeconomic status but really, it comes from home. We can't entirely blame the education system, because it starts with parents and that's what we want to support, as first teachers, because that is what they are."
She attributed her humanitarian spirit to her birth family.
The youngest of nine children, Wright said she and her siblings were taught from an early age not only the importance of sharing but also how crucial it was for social wellbeing for people to look out for one another.
While she admits it might sound modest, Wright feels she was a 21st century woman, although she was born in the mid 20th century.
Her reasoning is the somewhat forward ideas she has had along her path.
"If you want change, you have got to be bold," she says.
"At the end of the day, you've got one life to live. It's not a dress rehearsal and in my stage in life when the clock is ticking, you more aware and delighted in the possibilities.
"See, I don't look back. I look forward."
That's not saying that Wright doesn't acknowledge the past. She believes, however, mistakes are important if you learn from them.
"If you want to create change I think you definitely have to learn from history but you have to recognise all you have is the future."