Former rich lister Bill Birnie has been recognised in the New Year Honours for putting his financial prowess towards many worthy causes.
The investment banker and philanthropist was made a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to governance, the arts and sport.
Birnie made his fortune as chairman and managing director of Birnie Capital Limited and subsequently served as a board member and trustee of many charities and companies, as well as being appointed to numerous government roles.
Organisations he has backed include KidsCan, Play it Strange, the James Wallace Arts Trust, Pet Refuge, Circa Theatre Artists Charitable Trust and the Wellington Arts Festival.
His New Year Honours citation praised the way in which he used his financial skills to ensure successful outcomes.
As chairman of KidsCan since 2010, he has helped double the number of low decile schools assisted by the charity for disadvantaged Kiwi kids, and grown its revenue to more than $7 million a year.
Birnie has been on the boards of Sport New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand, Far North Holdings, the New Zealand Film Commission and the New Zealand Equestrian Federation, helping it through significant financial issues.
He led the development of BlackGold, which connects philanthropic investors with the sport system, and is currently its chairman.
Birnie also led key financial negotiations to establish the Wellington Regional Stadium.
In a 2015 interview with the Herald about KidsCan Birnie said he expected the charity would still be needed in another 10 years.
"Just being practical and realistic, there is always going to be a level of poverty," he said.
"I think we will continue to grow in terms of the support that we give and hopefully our overall objective, with the Government and private individuals, would be that all children that are in need are fed and clothed."