Wool broker Philippa Wright said it was "pretty extraordinary" when she found out she had been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year's Queen's Birthday Awards.
Not only is she the chief executive of Wright Wool, an independent wool broker based in Waipukurau, she's also an active member of many organisations which promote wool as a valuable resource.
"I felt incredibly grateful to be honoured in this way and I felt that it's made the work I've been trying to do for so long really worthwhile. It really is so nice to be appreciated and it's a huge honour," she said.
Wright has served as the chairwoman of Campaign for Wool New Zealand and the Prince of Wales is the patron. Wool NZ is a global initiative that highlights wool as an eco-friendly and durable fibre.
"I've worked for 10 years on that, but what I'm really passionate about is trying to create an environment so the next generation has something to work with in the wool industry, as it's in a pretty difficult situation at the moment. It's very difficult to get genuine assistance to progress what we are trying to do. It's a fairly tireless job but I believe it's really worthwhile and I believe in wool as a fibre."
Wright is an executive member of Campaign for Wool's global chapter and a trustee of the New Zealand chapter of the Campaign, New Zealand Trust.
She's also a member of a number of associations including the New Zealand Wool Brokers Association, National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests, and International Wool Textile Organisation.
She has frequently been a spokesperson for the wool industry in New Zealand and internationally. Dedicated to greater education about wool, Wright has played an instrumental role in the Wool for Schools programme since 2015 that teaches year 7 and 8 students about the fibre.
"I believe in the future for wool and it's just wonderful to have the wool industry acknowledged as well," she said.