Rachel Jane Brown
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Over the past 20 years, Rachel Brown has been a pioneer of sustainable business development in New Zealand and the world.

Her achievements include overseeing the former Waitakere City Council's move to more sustainable business practices and guiding the Auckland Environmental Business Network, which grew to include 130 member businesses and 200 affiliates in its first three years. She developed this into the national Sustainable Business Network in 2002; an organisation which now includes over 500 members. In 2009 she was part of the Climate Reality Project broadcast, which reached more than three million people worldwide.

Rob Jager has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and health and safety. Photo / file
Rob Jager has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and health and safety. Photo / file

Robert Jan Jager
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

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Workplace health and safety advocate Rob Jager is credited with being a driving force behind a cultural and behavioural change within New Zealand's oil and gas industries.

But his commitment to improving workplace health and safety has extended beyond his role as chairman of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association.

Jager was appointed to lead the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety following the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster, which contributed to the establishment of WorkSafe and the passing of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Nicola Legat has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the publishing industry. Photo / Massey University
Nicola Legat has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the publishing industry. Photo / Massey University

Nicola Legat
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Veteran writer, editor and publisher Nicola Legat has been recognised for her contribution to the written word in New Zealand.

Formerly a senior writer for North & South and Metro magazines, she went on to become Metro's editor for five years. She then became publishing director at Random House New Zealand, overseeing the publication of some 100 New Zealand books a year.

She is also the publisher for Massey University Press and Te Papa Press, as well as taking on the role of publishing the long-running Poetry NZ journal.

Peter Turnbull has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to aviation. Photo / file
Peter Turnbull has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to aviation. Photo / file

Peter John Turnbull
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

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With 21,000 flying hours under his belt, Peter Turnbull has spent more time than anyone else in the country on rescue and ambulance flights.

As chief pilot for the Northland Emergency Services Trust, Turnbull worked tirelessly - often for very little remuneration - to ensure the air rescue-ambulance service survived. He is now chief executive of the trust, which undertook 916 missions in 2016. Turnbull was instrumental in upgrading the trust's helicopter fleet and in creating more helipads in Northland communities.

Margarita Robertson has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the fashion industry. Photo / file
Margarita Robertson has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the fashion industry. Photo / file

Margarita Anna Robertson
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Margarita Robertson's fashion label NOM*d is credited with being one of the brands responsible for defining "the New Zealand look".

According to Robertson's citation, NOM*d encapsulates a mixture of tonal darkness and humour that has become a hallmark of Dunedin fashion.

As well as her substantial contribution to New Zealand's fashion identity, Robertson has actively nurtured Dunedin's creative talent, consistently recruiting new graduates and stocking the work of young, independent designers in her boutiques, while keeping her internationally-renowned label based in Dunedin.

Helen Robinson has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, particularly the technology sector. Photo / file
Helen Robinson has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, particularly the technology sector. Photo / file

Helen Alison Robinson
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit

With more than 30 years' experience leading technology companies, Helen Robinson has become a mentor and industry leader in the sector.

She is currently chairwoman of the Network for Learning (N4L), health and safety management software firm CLOUD M (Blerter), founder of social enterprise Organic Initiative and director for Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development.

Robinson was formerly chief executive of the TZ1 Registry, helping it to grow into the largest global environmental markets registry.

Vern Dark has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and education. Photo / file
Vern Dark has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and education. Photo / file

Vernon John Dark
Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Businessman Vern Dark was instrumental in delivering courses from tertiary education provider NorthTec to 58 sites across Northland, and keeping it profitable through a period of funding cuts.

"Dark has ensured that NorthTec supports the local community and reaches out to those who most need assistance, whilst maintaining a sustainable business model," his citation says.

Dark has previously held high-level positions with Fletcher Challenge Petrochemicals, the Northland Dairy Co-operative and the Northland Port Corporation.