A millionaire Tauranga philanthropist has received one of New Zealand's most prestigious honours.
Carrus Trust chairman Paul Adams has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business and philanthropy in the New Year honours.
The only New Year Honours higher are Knights or Dame Companions of the Order.
The Bay of Plenty Times Person of the Year 2014 nominee is a highly successful civil engineer, businessman and entrepreneur in Tauranga.
Mr Adams was Westpac Business Leader 2013 and has given significant time, and financial support, to organisations such as IHC, Riding for the Disabled, Tauranga Boys' College, Women's Refuge and Waipuna Hospice. The Lakes developer said he was "certainly surprised" to learn of the honour.
"I prefer staying in the background but obviously I'm very humbled by the situation."
Mr Adams has held a number of significant directorships over a 35-year career and, within these positions, he has overseen developments that have contributed to community and economic growth.
Mr Adams has also donated residential lots to Habitat for Humanity. "When you have kind of done well enough in your own business, it gives you an opportunity ... there's plenty of people out there who need a lot of help. I get a buzz out of doing things to help others who aren't in the position to help themselves."
Mr Adams said people helping others was "critical" in society. "But the sad thing is people are that busy trying to put food on the table for themselves, they don't have the time or inclination to do that. We need to empower them to change that.
"The problem really is the Bay of Plenty area is still a young city. That flows right through to wealth creation and having lots of people in a position to help others compared to older cities like Auckland and Wellington where there is a lot of wealth, and there's a lot of people in those communities who come together to help.
"We are a fast growing small city and we are still at a grass roots level in terms of developing that."
Mr Adams hoped his honour might help serve as inspiration for others to think of those struggling in less fortunate situations to themselves.
Among the Western Bay of Plenty causes Paul Adams has provided financial assistance to are:
• Waipuna Hospice - sponsor of Fundraising Music event, and Carrus Golf Open Waipuna Auction. (Mr Adams has been a Waipuna Foundation trustee for 12 years, a Building Committee chair and heavily involved in the $4 million Day Care Centre.)
• Elms Mission House - trustee, building committee chair, and donations - 2014
•IHC - Chairing Accessible Properties Ltd (100 per cent owned, not-for-profit company). Provider of social housing, including projects around Western Bay - 2014
•RDA - sponsorship of Horses - 2014
•Tauranga Boys' College - sponsorship of squash team - 2014
•Carrus Tauranga Open golf event - supporting development of young golf professionals - 2006 to 2014
•Mount Maunganui junior cricket - 2014. Naming sponsor of new Blake Park Pavilion
•Battle of Gate Pa Commemoration
•Priority One new Business centre - providing new business Incubator
•House of Science.